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Saturday, February 1, 2014
Highlighting Super Bowl connections

By Field Yates

Throughout the season, we made room on the blog to highlight players from the New England Patriots' upcoming opponent that had connections to the team.

On Sunday, though the Patriots won't be taking part in the Super Bowl, there's a list of individuals with connections to the franchise that will be and they are highlighted below.

Denver Broncos
Wide receiver Wes Welker: An exceptionally productive wide receiver who patrolled the slot for the Patriots for six seasons (2007-2012). He signed with Denver this past offseason after he and the Patriots were unable to come to terms on a long-term contract agreement.

Cornerback Marquice Cole: Shuffled back and forth from the Patriots roster this season, he eventually signed with Denver leading up to the AFC championship game. Should he play Sunday, it will likely be in a special teams role.

Cornerback Tony Carter: Had a cup of coffee as a member of the Patriots previously. Carter is a depth-level cornerback who also plays on special teams.

Linebacker Paris Lenon: Signed during the 2009 offseason, Lenon was released before ever playing a regular season game with the Patriots. His career is an incredible story of perseverance, as he's the final player remaining in the NFL that also played in the XFL.

Defensive end Jeremy Mincey: A 2006 sixth-round pick of the Patriots out of Florida, Mincey never materialized as a rusher in New England. After landing in Jacksonville and parlaying a productive 2011 season into a lucrative contract, he was released this past season, in part due to tardiness issues to team meetings. Denver then picked him up as a reserve rusher.

Center Dan Koppen: The longtime rock in the middle of the Patriots' offensive line found work in Denver after being released prior to the 2012 season. He admirably filled in for an injured J.D. Walton last season but landed on injured reserve for the 2013 season.

Secondary coach Cory Undlin: The 42-year old has a shot at his second Super Bowl ring, as he spent the 2004 season with the Patriots as a defensive coaching assistant before leaving for Cleveland with Romeo Crennel.

Director of player personnel Matt Russell: The former All-American linebacker at Colorado had a brief NFL career before turning to a personnel focus. He worked his way up the scouting ranks with the Patriots before being hired by Denver in 2009.

National scout Adam Peters: Peters' career began as an in-house scout with the Patriots. The former UCLA player also worked his way up the scouting ranks in New England.

Seattle Seahawks

Head coach Pete Carroll: He is on the verge of joining a select group of coaches (just Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer) to win both an NCAA national championship and Super Bowl. Such an accomplishment seemed unlikely after he was ousted as Patriots head coach following three seasons (1997-1999). He was replaced by Bill Belichick in 2000.

Area scout Jim Nagy: A very well regarded scouting mind, Nagy was hired this past offseason after spending time with the Chiefs under Scott Pioli. He was groomed by Pioli in New England as an area scout and has ties to current Seahawks GM John Schneider from a year in Washington together.

Defensive tackle Dewayne Cherrington: A big-bodied defensive lineman, Cherrington was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent last offseason. He was waived and subsequently ended up in Seattle, where he is currently on the practice squad.

A pair of Seahawks, starting right tackle Breno Giacomini and kicker Steve Hauschka, have Massachusetts roots. For more on their respective stories, check out this feature by ESPNBoston.com colleague Brendan Hall.