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Connections: Patriots - Titans

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.

<u>NEW ENGLAND TIES</u>

  • Titans assistant defensive line coach Keith Willis worked at Boston College from 2001-06 as the defensive line coach.

<u>TENNESSEE TIES</u>

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was born in Nashville, Tenn.
  • 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 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.

<u>FORMER PATRIOTS</u>

  • 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, DB Devin McCourty and T Nate Solder, among others.
  • 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 QB Matt Cassel was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played at New England for four seasons and started 15 games in 2008 when Tom Brady suffered a season- ending knee injury in the first game of the year, leading the team to an 11-5 record that year.

<u>FORMER TITANS</u>

  • Patriots WR Kenny Britt was drafted by the Titans in the first round (30th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. In his five seasons at Tennessee, he played in 57 games and totaled 157 catches for 2,450 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Game Preview: Titans at Patriots

<u>FORMER NFL TEAMMATES</u>

  • Titans assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was the defensive coordinator for the Steelers from 2004-14 and coached Patriots LB James Harrison during that span, with the exception of 2013 when Harrison was with the Bengals. Titans defensive line coach Nick Eason, secondary coach Deshea Townsend and CB Brice McCain were Steelers teammates with Harrison from 2007-10 and 2002-09 and 2014, respectively. Additionally, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey, linebackers coach Lou Spanos and offensive line coach Russ Grimm worked with Harrison at Pittsburgh.
  • Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Josh McDaniels *was the head coach at Denver when Titans WR *Eric Decker, 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 WR Eric Decker was teammates with Patriots LB David Harris at the New York Jets from 2014-16.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer played with Titans QB Brandon Weeden and C Ben Jones at Houston in 2015. Hoyer and Weeden were also teammates at Cleveland in 2013.
  • Patriots RB Mike Gillislee and Titans WR Rishard Matthews were teammates at Miami from 2013-14.
  • Titans RB DeMarco Murray and Patriots DB Eric Rowe played together at Philadelphia in 2015. Rowe and Patriots RB Dion Lewis were also Eagles teammates with Titans G/T Dennis Kelly in 2015 and 2012, respectively.
  • Patriots WR Chris Hogan, CB Stephon Gilmore, DL Alan Branch and Titans* S Da’Norris Searcy* played together at Buffalo.
  • Titans OLB Erik Walden played with Patriots DL Lawrence Guy, DL Ricky Jean Francois, TE Dwayne Allen, RB Dion Lewis and WR Phillip Dorsett at Indianapolis.
  • Patriots DL Ricky Jean Francois played with Titans TE *Delanie Walker *at San Francisco from 2009-12.
  • Patriots DL Lawrence Guy was Baltimore teammates with Titans S* Brynden Trawick* in 2014-15 and Titans TE* Phillip Supernaw* in 2014.
  • Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly, Titans running backs coach* Sylvester Croom* and Titans special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman worked together at the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11 in their respective roles. Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Josh McDaniels also worked for the Rams in 2011 in the same capacity, and Patriots WR Danny Amendola played at St. Louis during that time.
  • Titans quarterbacks coach Jason Michael was an assistant on the Chargers coaching staff when Patriots DL Lawrence Guy played at San Diego in 2013 and worked for the 49ers when Patriots DL Ricky Jean Francois was at San Francisco in 2009-10.
  • Titans assistant offensive line coach Mike Sullivan worked for the Browns in 2013 when Patriots RB Dion Lewis, QB Brian Hoyer and CB Johnson Bademosi played at Cleveland.

<u>FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES</u>

  • 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.
  • 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 DL Geneo Grissom and Titans DL David King played together at Oklahoma.
  • Patriots OL Joe Thuney played at North Carolina State when Titans wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson worked for the Wolfpack.
  • Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge played at Mississippi State when Titans running backs coach Sylvester Croom was the head coach of the Bulldogs in 2004.
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