- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Though the Patriots and Cardinals haven't squared off on the field since 2008, familiarity exists between the two organizations, as a number of players and members of the Cardinals staff have ties to either the Patriots or Bill Belichick. Here's an overview of the common threads between the two teams.
Safety James Sanders
Sanders, who joined the Cardinals during the 2012 offseason, was originally a 2005 fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots. He played six seasons in New England, and notched a career-best 71 tackles in 2007. He was released by the Patriots during the 2011 training camp, and spent last season with the Falcons.
Guard Rich Ohrnberger
The former 2009 fourth-round pick of the Patriots was well-known for his sense of humor while in New England, and played a limited role as a reserve lineman during his tenure with the Patriots. He was signed during training camp by the Cardinals, and has found a place on the active roster.
Linebacker Paris Lenon
Lenon was signed by the Patriots during the 2009 offseason, but never made it on to the field during a regular-season game, as he was cut toward the end of training camp. The journeyman linebacker has found a home in Arizona, playing an important role on their defense.
Director of player personnel Jason Licht
Licht was hired away from the Patriots this offseason after serving for three seasons as the director of pro personnel in New England. It's Licht's second go-around with the Cardinals, as he served as a personnel executive for the team in 2008. Incidentally, he also enjoyed two separate stints with the Patriots.
Football administration coordinator Matt Caracciolo
Caracciolo spent several seasons working on the operations staff for the Patriots before taking a similar post this offseason with the Cardinals. He's one of three Caracciolo brothers to work for an NFL organization, as both Peter (Raiders) and Tom (Chiefs) also do operations-related work in the NFL.
Special-teams coach Kevin Spencer
Spencer hasn't previously worked for the Patriots, but he earned his initial coaching chops as a coaching assistant under Bill Belichick with the Browns back in 1991-1994. Belichick spoke highly of Spencer's work as a special-teams coach during his Tuesday conference call.