The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots are a couple of hours away from kickoff. As happens every week with every game across the NFL, there are plenty of connections between the two AFC East rivals, including Dolphins GM Chris Grier’s dad, Branden Albert and Chris Long together in college, Chris Hogan facing the team that gave him the 7-11 nickname, and more. We work our way through all of the Dolphins-Patriots connections below:
- Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll was the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2011.
- Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny was signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2012, playing for the team through 2014.
- Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier spent the 1994 season with the Patriots as an intern and was a regional scout for the team from 1995 to 1999.
- Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons on the Dolphins practice squad.
- Dolphins wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson was a wide receiver for the Patriots from 1996-1999.
- Patriots defensive lineman Anthony Johnson was signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
- Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (suspended for the game) played for the Dolphins in 2007 and 2008.
- Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was the Denver Broncos wide receivers coach (2009-2010) when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach.
- Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier’s father, Bobby Grier, was a coach and personnel executive from 1981 to 1995.
- Dolphins offensive quality control coach Chris Kuper played guard for the Denver Broncos (2009-2010) when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach.
- Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum was a personnel assistant for the Cleveland Browns in 1995 during Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tenure as the Browns head coach. Tannebaum (1997-2012) and Belichick (1997-1999) were again together with the New York Jets with Tannenbaum in the personnel department and Belichick as the assistant head coach/secondary coach.
- Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert (2005-2006) and Patriots defensive end Chris Long (2004-2007) were teammates at Virginia.
- Dolphins punter Matt Darr was a teammate of Patriots defensive back Justin Coleman at Tennessee from 2011-2014.
- Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake was a teammate of Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones at Alabama from 2012 to 2015, including the National Championship team for the 2015-2016 season.
- Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was an undergraduate assistnt in 1998 and 1999 with Michigan State when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (1999) and tight ends coach Brian Daboll (1998-1999) were graduate assistants at the school.
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (2007-2009) (injured) and Dolphins defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (2006-2009) were teammates at Arizona.
- Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (2011-2013) was teammates with Patriots defensive lineman Anthony Johnson (2011-2013) and linebacker Barkevious Mingo (2009-2012) at LSU. Dolphins quarterbacks coach Bo Haregree was a defensive coaching intern in 2011 at LSU and an offensive intern in 2012 and 2013.
- Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysinger (2008-2011) and linebacker Kiko Alonso were (2008-2012) teammates at Oregon with Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (2009) and safety Patrick Chung (2005-2008).
- Dolphins safety Michael Thomas (2008-2011) was teammates with Patriots offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (2010-2013) and defensive back Jordan Richards (2011-2014) at Stanford.
- Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett is from West Palm Beach, Florida, attending William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens.
- Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny is from Coconut Creek, Florida, attending Coconut Creek High School.
- Patriots linebacker Barkevious Mingo is from Belle Glade, Florida.
- Dolphins linebackers coach Matt Murke is from Hudson, Massachusetts.
- Patriots defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard is from Hollywood, Florida, attending Hollywood Hills High School.
- Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum is from Needham, Massachusetts, attending Needham High School. He also attended the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
- Patriots running back James White is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attending St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.