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Connections: Patriots - Steelers

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.


A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.


  • Steelers LB Tyler Matakevich is originally from Stratford, Conn. and attended St. Joseph's High School in Trumbull, Conn. He helped the Cadets capture back-to-back state championships and was all-state honoree at linebacker his senior year.


  • Patriots DL Chase Winovich attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Jefferson Hills, Pa., where he played quarterback and linebacker.


  • Both Steelers TE Xavier Grimble and CB Mike Hilton were on the Patriots practice squad for a short period of time in 2014 and 2016, respectively.


  • Pittsburgh assistant head coach John Mitchell was the defensive line coach for the Browns from 1991-93 when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the head coach in Cleveland.
  • Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar coached in the same role at Buffalo in 2015 when Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore played for the Bills.
  • Steelers LB Mark Barron played with Patriots DL Michael Bennett in Tampa Bay in 2012.
  • Patriots DL Danny Shelton and WR Josh Gordon were teammates with Steelers CB Joe Haden in Cleveland. Steelers OT Zach Banner also played for Cleveland in 2017, teaming up with Patriots DB Jason McCourty, Gordon and Shelton.
  • Patriots DE John Simon played for the Indianapolis Colts with Steelers WR Donte Moncrief in 2017.


  • Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower and Steelers LB Mark Barron played side-by-side at Alabama from 2008-11, winning National Championships in 2009 and 2011 together. Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge was a football analyst and special teams assistant for the Crimson Tide at the time.
  • Patriots RB James White was teammates with Steelers LB T.J. Watt at Wisconsin in 2013, though Watt did not play due to a redshirt.
  • Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett played at Miami with Steelers CB Artie Burns from 2013-14 and LB Anthony Chickillo from 2011-14.
  • Steelers DT Cameron Heyward played with Patriots DB Nate Ebner and DE John Simon at Ohio State from 2009-10.
  • Steelers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner was also the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach when Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski played at Memphis from 2002-05.
  • Patriots RB Damien Harris and Steelers LB Isaiah Buggs attended Alabama together prior to their 2019 rookie campaigns.
  • Patriots outside linebackers coach DeMarcus Covington was a defensive graduate assistant at Mississippi from 2013-14 while Steelers CB Mike Hilton played there.
  • Patriots OL Russell Bodine and Steelers WR Ryan Switzer lined up together for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2013.
  • Patriots OL Joe Thuney blocked for Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels at N.C. State from 2014-15. Patriots rookie WR Jakobi Meyers also attended N.C. State with Thuney and Samuels in 2015.
  • Patriots DL Chase Winovich played at Michigan with Steelers LB Devin Bush and TE Zach Gentry prior to their 2019 rookie campaigns.
  • Steelers LB Vince Williams played alongside Patriots DB Terrence Brooks at Florida State from 2010-12.

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