A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.
NEW ENGLAND TIES
- Titans WR Tajaé Sharpe played for the University of Massachusetts from 2012-15 and finished his career as the school’s all-time leading receiver with 277 receptions and 3,486 receiving yards.
- Titans LB Harold Landry III played at Boston College from 2014-17 and is second in school history with 26 career sacks, highlighted by a school-record 16.5 in 2016.
- Titans TE Anthony Firkser played for Harvard from 2013-16 and caught 99 passes for 1,559 yards and 14 touchdowns. He ranks 12th in school history in receptions, ninth in receiving yards and sixth in touchdown receptions.
- Titans running backs coach Tony Dews coached the defensive line at Holy Cross in 2003.
- Tennessee quality control coach Chandler Henley played wide receiver for Yale from 2002-06 and coached the tight ends for his alma mater from 2015-17.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was born in Nashville, Tenn.
- Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower is from Lewisburg, Tenn. and attended Marshall County High School. He totaled 168 tackles, five forced fumbles and five interceptions his senior season and was named The Tennessean's Defensive Most Valuable Player.
- Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski attended the University of Memphis from 2002-05 and finished his collegiate career placing 13th in NCAA Division 1-A history with 369 points (a Memphis record) and 14th with 70 successful field goals.
- Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson played for Tennessee in 2012 and earned All-SEC honors after setting a school record with 1,858 all-purpose yards.
- Patriots DL Adam Butler attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville from 2012-16. He started 36 of 49 games played and registered 109 tackles, 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and five passes defensed.
- Patriots OL Shaq Mason hails from Columbia, Tenn., where he attended Columbia Central and earned all-state and all-district honors in 2009 and 2010.
- Patriots DL Keionta Davis grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., and attended Tennessee-Chattanooga where he registered 132 tackles, 31 sacks, 19 passes defensed and eight forced fumbles over 50 career games.
- Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played linebacker for the Patriots from 2001-08, winning three Super Bowl titles. In his Patriots career, Vrabel played in 125 games, notching 604 tackles, 11 interceptions and 48.0 sacks. He also made eight catches, all for touchdowns.
- Titans general manager Jon Robinson spent 12 years with the Patriots (2002-13) in the personnel department, serving as an area and regional scout and lastly as the director of college scouting (2009-13). During Robinson’s tenure, the Patriots won 10 division titles, four AFC crowns and two Super Bowls and drafted several Patriots players that remain on the roster today, including WR Julian Edelman, TE Rob Gronkowski and DB Devin McCourty among others.
- Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees coached the linebackers in New England from 2004-05 before moving to defensive coordinator from 2006-09.
- Titans RB Dion Lewis played in New England from 2015-17 and recorded 1,413 rushing yards and eight touchdowns and made 85 receptions for 696 yards and five scores. Lewis led the 2017 Patriots in rushing with 896 rushing yards and was a part of the 2016 championship team.
- The Patriots signed Titans CB Malcolm Butler as a rookie free agent in 2014 and he played with the team from 2014-17. Butler played in 59 games for the Patriots and recorded eight interceptions, 47 passes defensed and 209 tackles. He also made the game-sealing interception in Super Bowl XLIX on the goal line against the Seahawks, winning championships in 2014 and 2016.
- Titans CB Logan Ryan was drafted by the Patriots in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft and won two Super Bowls with the team. Ryan spent four seasons at New England, during which time he played in all 64 regular season games and tallied 251 tackles and 13 interceptions (regular season).
- Titans G Josh Kline was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and spent three seasons at New England, highlighted by a Super Bowl XLIX championship.
- Titans DL Darius Kilgo spent part of the 2016 season on the Patriots practice squad.
- The Titans drafted Patriots CB Jason McCourty in the sixth round (203rd) overall of the 2009 NFL Draft. McCourty played in Tennessee from 2009-16 and recorded 13 interceptions, 73 passes defensed and 496 total tackles over 108 games.
- Patriots OL Brian Schwenke played for the Titans from 2013-17, appearing in 57 games and making 30 starts.
FORMER NFL TEAMMATES
- Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Josh McDaniels was the head coach at Denver when Titans LB Wesley Woodyard and P Brett Kern played for the Broncos. Titans assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman was also a defensive assistant on McDaniels’ staff at Denver in 2010.
- Titans head coach Mike Vrabel coached the linebackers for Houston from 2014-16 when Patriots QB Brian Hoyer and DE John Simon played for the Texans. Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen also coached Simon as a defensive assistant in 2016. Finally, Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara worked as an offensive assistant for Houston from 2015-17.
- Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees worked in the same role for Baltimore from 2012-17, coaching Patriots DL Lawrence Guy, DE John Simon and LB Nicholas Grigsby.
- Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn played with Titans TE Luke Stocker for Tampa Bay from 2011-14. Titans general manager Jon Robinson worked as director of pro personnel for the Buccaneers from 2014-15.
- Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson played with Titans TE MyCole Pruitt for Minnesota from 2015-16. Pruitt joined the Bears off the Vikings practice squad in 2016 and played with Patriots QB Brian Hoyer.
- Patriots WR Josh Gordon played for Cleveland when Titans offensive assistant Luke Steckel was the assistant to the head coach in 2012.
- Titans offensive assistant Mike Sullivan worked for the Browns in 2013 when Patriots QB Brian Hoyer and WR Josh Gordon played at Cleveland.
- Titans strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy worked in the same role for the Vikings from 2006-13 when Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson played for Minnesota (2013), wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea was an offensive assistant and wide receivers coach (2006-08) and defensive line coach Brendan Daly coached the defensive line (2006-08, 2012-13).
- Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn played for Atlanta from 2015-16 while Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur coached the quarterbacks and offensive line coach Keith Carter was an assistant offensive line coach.
- Titans wide receivers coach Rob Moore coached the wide receivers at Buffalo in 2014 when Patriots WR Chris Hogan and CB Stephon Gilmore played for the Bills.
- Moore also coached the wide receivers at Oakland, coaching Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson in 2017.
- Patriots DL Lawrence Guy played for the Chargers from 2013-14 when Titans special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman worked as assistant special teams coach.
- Patriots QB Brian Hoyer and DE John Simon played with Titans C Ben Jones at Houston. Titans strength and conditioning assistant Brian Bell worked in the same role for the Texans at the time.
- Patriots DL Lawrence Guy was Baltimore teammates with Titans S Brynden Trawick (2014-15), S Kendrick Lewis (2015-16) and LB Kamalei Correa (2016). Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby also was on the Baltimore practice squad when Correa played for the Ravens in 2017.
- Patriots OL Trent Brown played with Titans QB Blaine Gabbert in San Francisco from 2015-16.
- Patriots DL Danny Shelton played with Titans WR Darius Jennings for Cleveland in 2015.
- Titans G/T Dennis Kelly and DL Bennie Logan played for Philadelphia with Patriots RB Kenjon Barner.
- Patriots RB Kenjon Barner played for Carolina in 2013 when Titans vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden was the national scout/senior college scout for the Panthers.
FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES
- Patriots RB James White played with Titans T Tyler Marz at Wisconsin from 2011-13. Patriots consultant to the head coach Bret Bielema was head coach for the Badgers from 2011-12.
- Titans head coach Mike Vrabel coached the linebackers and defensive line at Ohio State when Patriots DB Nate Ebner and DE John Simon played for the Buckeyes. Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen also coached Simon as a defensive graduate assistant in 2012 while Titans secondary coach Kerry Coombs coached the cornerbacks. Finally, Titans assistant to the head coach John Streicher was a student assistant for the Buckeyes from 2012-13.
- Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees was head coach at Kent State from 2002-03 while Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer was a graduate assistant. Titans defensive assistant Scott Booker played for the Golden Flashes at the time.
- Titans QB Marcus Mariota played with Patriots RB Kenjon Barner at Oregon in 2012.
- Patriots WR Julian Edelman played with Titans strength and conditioning assistant Brian Bell at Kent State in 2006. Titans assistant special teams coach Matt Edwards also coached the defensive line at Kent State from 2006-10.
- Patriots WR Matthew Slater played at UCLA with Titans offensive line coach Keith Carter in 2004.
- Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower played with Titans FB Jalston Fowler at Alabama from 2010-11, winning a national championship together in 2011.
- Titans C Ben Jones and Patriots C David Andrews spent one year together at Georgia (2011). Andrews took over starting center duties for the Bulldogs in 2012 after Jones went on to the NFL.
- Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears coached the wide receivers at Syracuse when Titans wide receivers coach Rob Moore played wide receiver for the Orange from 1987-89.
- Patriots OL Shaq Mason played for Georgia Tech in 2011 when Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen was an offensive graduate assistant.
- Patriots DL Malcom Brown played on the Texas defense with Titans S Kenny Vaccaro in 2012.
- Titans CB Logan Ryan was teammates with Patriots DB Devin McCourty (2009) and DB Duron Harmon (2009-12) at Rutgers. The three also anchored the defensive backfield for the Patriots together from 2013-16.
- Patriots DB Jonathan Jones played with Titans LB Daren Bates at Auburn in 2012.
- Patriots DE Derek Rivers played on the Youngstown State defense with Titans CB Kenneth Durden from 2014-15.
- Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby played for Pittsburgh in 2011 when Titans running backs coach Tony Dews was tight ends/recruiting coordinator.
- Patriots DL Keionta Davis played with Titans G/C Corey Levin at Tennessee-Chattanooga form 2012-16.
- Patriots DL Adam Butler played for Vanderbilt while Titans quality control coach Chandler Henley was an offensive/recruiting graduate assistant there.