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Preseason Game III: Patriots-Panthers Connections

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

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


  • Carolina DE Ryan Delaire is a native of Windsor, Conn. and attended Windsor High School.
  • Panthers LB Luke Kuechly attended Boston College and played in 38 games with 37 starts. He finished his career with an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and school-record 532 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, seven interceptions and 10 passes defensed.
  • Carolina CB Robert McClain attended the University of Connecticut where he played in 46 games with 18 starts and recorded 129 tackles, one sack, 10 interceptions, 14 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
  • Panthers TE Scott Simonson attended Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. and played in 36 games with 31 starts while totaling 104 receptions for 1,537 yards and 15 touchdowns. Simonson was a first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference selection as a senior in 2013.
  • Assistant strength and conditioning coach Jason Benguche played offensive line for Springfield College from 2002-05 and earned Division II/III All-New England honors from the New England Football Writers Division as a senior. He went on to coach at UMass in 2005.
  • Linebackers coach Al Holcomb worked as linebackers coach, assistant track coach and physical education instructor at Maine's Colby College in 1997.


  • Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett, OL Joe Thuney and DL Markus Kuhn played at North Carolina State.
  • Patriots G Jonathan Cooper played at North Carolina and is originally from Wilmington, N.C.
  • TE Bryce Williams played at East Carolina and is originally from Winston-Salem, N.C.


  • DT Kyle Love was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by New England in 2010 and played for the Patriots until 2012. In 2011, Love appeared in 16 games and made 13 starts while posting 55 tackles, three sacks, five quarterback pressures and one fumble recovery. In 2012, Love played in 16 games with 11 starts for New England and compiled 40 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one quarterback pressure.


  • Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was the defensive quality control coach for the Bears when Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears coached the receivers in Chicago.
  • Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Shula coached in Chicago when Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears worked for the Bears.
  • Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb worked in New York when Patriots TE Martellus Bennett and DL Markus Kuhn played for the Giants.
  • Carolina assistant wide receivers coach Cameron Turner worked with Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly at the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Panthers S Marcus Ball and Patriots LB Rufus Johnson were defensive teammates at the New Orleans Saints.
  • Panthers LB Ben Jacobs played with Patriots DL Jabaal Sheard at the Cleveland Browns.
  • Panthers CBRobert McClain was defensive teammates with Patriots DT Terrance Knightonat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Panthers S Trenton Robinson was defensive teammates with Patriots DL Anthony Johnsonand DT Terrance Knightonat the Washington Redskins.
  • Carolina G Chris Scott and Patriots WR Chris Hoganwere offensive teammates at the Buffalo Bills.
  • Panthers DT Paul Soliai played for the Dolphins when LB Jonathan Freeny and DE Rob Ninkovich played in Miami
  • Panthers RB Fozzy Whittakerwas teammates with Patriots RB Dion Lewis, OL Keavon Milton and DL Jabaal Sheard at the Cleveland Browns.
  • Panthers CB Teddy Williams played with Patriots TE Martellus Bennett in Dallas and Chicago. He also played with LB Shea McClellin at the Bears.


  • Patriots TE AJ Derby and DL Trey Flowersplayed with DT Robert Thomas at Arkansas.
  • Patriots WR Chris Harper and Panthers T Jordan Rigsbeewere teammates at California from 2012-14.
  • Patriots WR Aaron Dobson and DB Darryl Roberts were teammates with Panthers FB Devon Johnson at Marshall.
  • Patriots RB Brandon Bolden and Panthers T Michael Oher were teammates at Mississippi State in 2008.
  • Patriots G Jonathan Cooper and Panthers S Tre Boston played together at North Carolina from 2010-12.
  • Patriots DB Nate Ebner played with Panthers WR Philly Brown, S Kurt Coleman and G Andrew Norwell at Ohio State.
  • Patriots RB LeGarrette Blountand Panthers TE Ed Dickson were teammates at Oregon for the 2008-09 seasons.
  • Patriots S Patrick Chung played with Panthers TE Ed Dickson and RB Jonathan Stewartat Oregon.
  • Patriots OL Cameron Fleming and RB Tyler Gaffney played with Panthers C Matt Masifilo and G David Yankey at Stanford.

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