Connections with Patriots & Broncos

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
5:00
AM ET
Highlighting current members of the Broncos' organization with Patriots ties:

Center Dan Koppen
The longtime Patriots center was released at the conclusion of this training camp, but didn't last long on the free-agent market. The Broncos picked Koppen up the day after their season-opener, and he will assume the starting center role this week, as incumbent starter J.D. Walton was recently placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Koppen, a 2003 fifth-round draft choice out of Boston College, started 120 games with the Patriots, winning two Super Bowls.

Defensive end Ty Warren
Another former 2003 Patriots draft choice, Warren, the 13th overall selection, was a steady member of the Patriots defensive line for much of his time with the team (2003-2010). An injury cost him the entirety of his final season in New England, and he has played in just one game with the Broncos since signing with the team in the 2011 offseason, as he has twice torn a triceps muscle during that span of time (he is currently on the injured reserved list). His most productive season as a Patriot was 2006, during which set career highs for tackles (84) and sacks (7.5).

Cornerback Tony Carter
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Carter spent most of 2010 on the Patriots practice squad before he was promoted to the active roster for two games that year (his football journey here). Carter has played in all four games for the Broncos this season.

Fullback Chris Gronkowski
The older brother of Patriots tight end Rob, Chris was acquired by the Broncos in a trade with the Colts this past offseason. A teammate of his younger brother's at Arizona, Chris was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2010, where he spent the regular season. He was claimed by the Colts on waivers in September of 2011, and played in seven regular season games with Indianapolis. He has one catch for 11 yards thus far in 2012.

Offensive tackle Darrion Weems
After spending much of the 2012 training camp with the Patriots, Weems, an undrafted free agent out of Oregon, was snatched up to the Colts' practice squad. His contract was subsequently terminated by the Colts, and he signed with the Broncos on Tuesday to become a member of their practice squad.

Defensive quality control coach Cory Undlin
Undlin was a member of the Patriots' coaching staff in 2004 as a defensive assistant. He joined Romeo Crennel, who left his post as Patriots defensive coordinator to become the head coach of the Browns, in Cleveland in 2005, and served there for five seasons. This is his first year with the Broncos.

Director of player personnel Matt Russell
Russell worked for four seasons (2001, 2003-2005) in the Patriots' personnel department, before joining the Eagles in 2006. He was hired by the Broncos after the 2008 season, and was promoted to his current post on Jan. 17, 2012.

Director of pro personnel Keith Kidd
Like Russell, the highly respected Kidd previously worked as a member of the Patriots' personnel department from 2002-2004.

National scout Adam Peters
Peters got his start in the NFL with the Patriots, working his way up from scouting assistant to regional scout.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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