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Connections: Patriots - Titans

20190813-connections-titans

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and 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 leader 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 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.

TENNESSEE TIES

  • 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 Tennesseans 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 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.
  • Patriots DB Joejuan Williams attended Vanderbilt University and grew up in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Patriots FB Jakob Johnson attended the University of Tennessee from 2014-18, where he played several different positions in a versatile role.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • 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 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 WR Cody Hollister spent his rookie season (2018) on the Patriots practice squad before moving to Tennessee.

FORMER TITANS

  • The Titans drafted Patriots DB 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.

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.
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels held the same position in St. Louis in 2011, where he coached Titans OL Rodger Saffold.
  • 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.
  • Titans TE MyCole Pruitt joined the Chicago Bears in 2016 and played with Patriots QB Brian Hoyer.
  • Titans offensive assistant Mike Sullivan worked for the Browns in 2013 when Patriots QB Brian Hoyer played in Cleveland. Titans RB Dion Lewis spent the 2013 season in Cleveland as well, but was on IR.
  • Titans wide receivers coach Rob Moore coached the wide receivers at Buffalo in 2014 when Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore played for the Bills.
  • 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 DL Danny Shelton played with Titans WR Darius Jennings for Cleveland in 2015.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 RB Sony Michel and OL Isaiah Wynn played with Titans OLB D'Andre Walker at Georgia from 2015-17.
  • 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 WR Matthew Slater played at UCLA with Titans offensive line coach Keith Carter in 2004.
  • Patriots DL Michael Bennett and Titans QB Ryan Tannehill played together at Texas A&M in 2008.
  • Patriots RB Damien Harris played with Titans RB Derrick Henry at Alabama in 2015, winning the National Championship together in 2015. Titans LB Rashaan Evans also played with Harris at Alabama, winning National Championships together in 2015 and 2017 for the Crimson Tide.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Titans WR Cody Hollister spent time at Arkansas with Patriots OL Dan Skipper (2014-16), OL Hjalte Froholdt (2015-16) and DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (2014-16).
  • Patriots OL Cole Croston played with Titans TE Parker Hesse (2014-16) and DB Amani Hooker (2016) at Iowa.
  • Titans DL Frank Herron spent time at Louisiana State University with Patriots RB Nick Brossette (2015-17).
  • Patriots LB Shilique Calhoun played with Titans OT Jack Conklin (2012-15) and LB Riley Bullough (2013-15) at Michigan State.
  • Titans T A.T. Hall attended Stanford with Patriots P Jake Bailey (2015-18) and DL David Parry (2014).
  • Titans LB LaTroy Lewis played with Patriots FB Jakob Johnson at the University of Tennessee from 2014-16.
  • Titans DB LaDarius Wiley spent time with Patriots DL Adam Butler (2015-16) and CB Joejuan Williams (2016) at Vanderbilt.
  • Patriots WR Dontrelle Inman played with Titans OL Austin Pasztor at Virginia in 2009.
  • Patriots OL Yodny Cajuste and Titans LB David Long played at West Virginia together from 2015-18.

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