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Preseason Game 1: Patriots-Saints Connections

A look at Patriots-Saints connections as we head into Thursday night's preseason game.

A look at Patriots-Saints connections as we head into Thursday night's preseason game against New Orleans.


  • Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was born in Framingham, Mass., and attended Medway (Mass.) HS. He went on to a collegiate playing career in baseball and was a four-year letterman at Boston College. As a senior, Carmichael was a team captain and Most Valuable Player. He began his coaching career as the assistant offensive line coach at the University of New Hampshire in 1994, with the Wildcats winning the Yankee Conference championship.
  • Saints OLB Kasim Edebali hails from Meriden, N.H. and attended Boston College, where he played in 49 games, recording, 166 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
  • Saints WR R.J. Harrisplayed for four years at New Hampshire, where he compiled 310 catches for 4,328 yards and 36 touchdowns as the school's and Colonial Athletic Association's all-time leader in receptions and second on both lists in receiving yardage. His 36 TDs rank second in program history and fourth in the CAA.
  • Saints NT John Jenkins is a native of Meriden, Conn.
  • Saints tight ends coach Dan Roushar served as the offensive line coach at Rhode Island in 1993.
  • Saints senior defensive assistant, Peter Giunta was born in Salem, Mass., and played football at Northeastern University. After college, he coached the Swampscott High School football team from 1978-80.


  • Patriots RB Brandon Bolden attended Scotlandville Magnet HS in Baton Rouge, La. During his senior year, Bolden rushed for 886 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to being named First Team All-District 5-5A.
  • Patriots P Ryan Allen transferred from Oregon State to Louisiana Tech in 2010. During his three years there, Allen became the first punter to ever win back-to-back Ray Guy Awards.
  • Patriots DL Anthony Johnson attended Louisiana State and grew up in New Orleans.
  • New England OL Keavon Milton attended Louisiana-Monroe.


  • Saints CB Tony Carter appeared in two games for the Patriots during the 2010 season.
  • New Orleans TE Michael Hoomanawanui played for New England from 2012-2014 and appeared in two games during the 2015 season before he was sent to New Orleans in a trade for DE Akiem Hicks.
  • Saints RB Travaris Cadet appeared in one game for the Patriots during the 2015 season.


  • New England LB Ramon Humber played for the Saints from 2010-15.
  • Patriots LB Rufus Johnson played for the Saints from 2013-14.
  • Patriots DL Rob Ninkovichwas drafted by the Saints in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. He was waived twice by New Orleans and tried to make the team in 2009 as a long snapper before landing in New England prior to the start of the regular season.
  • Patriots area scout Tim Heffelfinger spent seven years as an area scout for the Saints from 1998-2004.


  • Patriots RB Donald Brown and Saints WR Vincent Brown were offensive teammates in San Diego during the 2015 season.
  • New England DLAlan Branch (2013) and WR Chris Hogan (2012-15) played with Saints S Jairus Byrd (2009-13), and RB C.J. Spiller(2010-14) in Buffalo.
  • Patriots DT Terrance Knightonand Saints CB Tony Carterwere defensive teammates at the Denver Broncos from 2013-14.
  • New England LB Jonathan Freeny (2011-14) and DL Anthony Johnson (2014) were defensive teammates with Saints LB Dannell Ellerbe (2013-14) at the Miami Dolphins.
  • New England RB Donald Brown (2009-13) were offensive teammates with Saints TE Coby Fleener (2012-15) at the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Patriots CB E.J. Biggers (2013-14), DL Anthony Johnson (2015), DL Frank Kearse (2014-15) and DT Terrance Knighton (2015) were teammates with Saints K Kai Forbath (2012-15) at the Washington Redskins.
  • Patriots WR Danny Amendolaand DE Chris Longplayed with Saints TE Michael Hoomanawanuiat the St. Louis Rams from 2010-11. Long and Amendola also played with Saints LB James Laurinaitis in St. Louis when he was with the team from 2009-15.
  • Patriots RB Dion Lewis (2013-14), OL Keavon Milton(2013) and DL Jabaal Sheard(2011-14) played with Saints LB Craig Robertson(2012-15) at the Cleveland Browns.
  • Patriots DL Alan Branch (2011-12) and OL Keavon Milton (2014-15) played with Saints C Max Unger(2009-14) at the Seattle Seahawks.
  • Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDanielsand defensive line coach Brendan Daly held the same positions in St. Louis when Saints TE Michael Hoomanawanui and LB James Laurinaitisplayed for the Rams.
  • Daly was also the defensive line coach for the Vikings when Saints LB Michael Mauti played in Minnesota.
  • Josh McDaniels was the head coach of the Broncos when Saints CB Tony Carter played in Denver.
  • Saints assistant head coach/tight ends Dan Campbellcoached with Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll in Miami when Daboll was the Dolphins' offensive coordinator.


  • Patriots LB Dont'a Hightowerspent three seasons (2008-2010) playing with Saints RB Mark Ingram at Alabama. The pair won a national championship in 2009, the same season that Ingram won the Heisman Trophy.
  • New England CB Cyrus Jones and Saints LB Dillon Lee and DL D.J. Pettwayalso played together for the Crimson Tide during the 2012-15 seasons.
  • Patriots LB Shea McClellin and New Orleans CB Kyle Wilson were defensive teammates at Boise State during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
  • Patriots WR Chris Harper and Saints RBDaniel Lasco were offensive teammates at California from 2012-14.
  • Patriots DL Woodrow Hamilton played with Saints DB Trae Elston at Mississippi from 2012-15.
  • New England G Jonathan Cooper (2009-12) played with Saints LB Jeff Schoettmer (2012-15), TE Jack Tabb (2011-14) and OL Landon Turner(2012- 15) at North Carolina.
  • Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount(2008-09) and S Patrick Chung (2005-08) played with Saints S Jairus Byrd(2006-08) and C Max Unger(2005-08) at Oregon.
  • Patriots OL Cameron Fleming (2010-13), RB Ty Gaffney (2009-11, 2013) and DB Jordan Richards (2011-14) played with Saints TE Coby Fleener(2008- 11) and T Andrus Peat (2012-14).
  • New England DB Justin Coleman(2011-14) and Saints FB Austin Johnson (2008-2011) were teammates for a season at Tennessee.
  • Patriots DL Malcom Brownand New Orleans S Kenny Vaccaro played together during the 2012 season at Texas.
  • Patriots WR Matthew Slater (2004-07) was teammates with New Orleans K Kai Forbath (2006-10) at UCLA.
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