New England Patriots: Brian Daboll

Highlighting Patriots-Bills connections

December, 27, 2013
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We normally use this space to highlight players or members of the Patriots' upcoming opponent's organization who have ties to New England. With Sunday marking the second time that they'll face the Bills this season, we'll do things a little differently and note current Patriots with ties to Buffalo.

Long-snapper Danny Aiken. Undrafted out of Virginia in 2011, Aiken got his start with the Bills, attending training camp with the team that preseason. The Patriots signed Aiken shortly after his release from Buffalo, and he has held the long-snapping duties since.

Linebacker Chris White. Originally a sixth-round pick of the Bills out of Mississippi State in 2011, White was traded this past offseason to Detroit, who subsequently waived him. The Patriots claimed him, and he has served as a coverage player on special teams in 2013.

Offensive assistant Brian Daboll. Daboll is a native of Buffalo and attended St. Francis High School, just a handful of miles from Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Bills play their home games. He went on to play at the nearby University of Rochester.

Kline, Daboll among unsung contributors

December, 23, 2013
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As reporters arrived in the locker room after the New England Patriots' 41-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, center Ryan Wendell turned to one and said, "Go interview Josh Kline." It was a case where a veteran player wanted to make sure a rookie making his first career start received his just due.

[+] EnlargeJosh Kline
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsRookie offensive lineman Josh Kline made his first NFL career start on Sunday at Baltimore.
Kline, who went undrafted out of Kent State and has been on and off the team's practice squad this season, had just put on his AFC East Championship hat and T-shirt when approached by reporters.

“It’s great to win the AFC East and have a shot to be a 2-seed next week. It's unreal for me, my first start. Personally it means a lot,” Kline said, struggling to come up with the words for how he was pressed into action in a critical spot.

Kline said he treated the week like any other, preparing as if he would start.

How he arrived at this point is, first and foremost, a credit to his approach and improvement. Patriots coach Bill Belichick also noted the work of assistant coach Brian Daboll when it comes to Kline.

"Brian Daboll worked him out in the spring and I think that [was] part of the impetus in our interest in him," Belichick said. "He wasn't drafted -- we were able to recruit and then sign him as a college free agent."

With Nate Solder out with a concussion, Logan Mankins was asked to move out to his college position of left tackle, thrusting Kline into a starting role for the first time in his young NFL career.

The results were positive for the Patriots on Sunday, as they mustered 142 rushing yards against what had previously been the NFL's seventh-best run defense.

Should Solder be forced to miss any more games, it seems likely Kline will continue to start alongside Mankins and Wendell.

Based off of remarks from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on Monday, it appears Daboll not only helped in the process to bring Kline to New England, but also in his development throughout the season.

"He's spent a lot of time with our young linemen to give them extra teaching and extra classroom work when we have our meetings and are able to split those up like that," McDaniels said. "I think he's really done a nice job of teaching those guys the foundation of our system and trying to help them move along because eventually during the course of the season you know you're going to need some of those young players to step in and play potentially significant roles, as Josh did yesterday."

Aiding in the development of young linemen is just one of the hats Daboll -- who is officially listed as an offensive assistant -- has worn this season.

McDaniels added that he's provided substantial value in a multitude of ways during his first full season back in New England after stops in New York, Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City.

"Whether it's game plan thoughts and ideas or in-game adjustments or teaching some of the other players or helping us out in any way, shape or form that he could with his volume of experience as a coordinator, as a position coach in our system, I think it's just been an incredible benefit to have him here and he's really contributed a ton to our success," he said.

Weekly Patriots mail is delivered

December, 3, 2013
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Every Tuesday on ESPNBoston.com, questions from New England Patriots followers are answered as part of a weekly mailbag. This week's mailbag is posted and includes some of the following topics:

1. Highlighting the work of the coaching staff and its effective in-game adjustments.

2. With running back Stevan Ridley, is it overstating things to say he's at a crossroads in his role as the team's lead rusher?

3. Following up on comments made by Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith.

4. Digging into some defensive questions -- 3-4 vs. 4-3 and zone coverage vs. man.

5. Brian Daboll's role on the coaching staff.

Highlighting Patriots-Jets connections

October, 18, 2013
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Each Friday, we lead our coverage with a post that highlights connections between the Patriots' upcoming opponent and the organization. As this is the second time they will face the Jets, that list was previously covered. To change things up, we'll use this space this week to look at current members of the Patriots' organization who have a tie to the Jets, led by head coach Bill Belichick.


Head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick served as the Jets assistant head coach from 1997 to 1999, just after his first tenure in New England (where he was also the assistant head coach to Bill Parcells). When Parcells abruptly retired from the Jets, Belichick was named the head coach, though he resigned shortly thereafter as he was named the Patriots head coach. It was in New York that Belichick first started working with Berj Najarian, currently the Patriots director of football/head coach administration.

Linebackers coach Pepper Johnson. Johnson played for Belichick in New York, finishing up his NFL career with the Jets from the 1997-1998 seasons. A respected player who has turned into a respected coach, Johnson was named a team captain for the Jets during his two-year stay.

Offensive assistant Brian Daboll. Daboll returned to the Patriots early in 2013 after stints elsewhere around the NFL, including a two-year window with the Jets from 2007 through 2008 as the team's quarterbacks coach. He now serves in a variety of roles in New England, including assisting along the offensive line.

Defensive back Marquice Cole. Cole is in his second season with the Patriots, providing special-teams value and situational defensive back play. Before he was a Patriot, he spent three years with the Jets, playing on both defense and special teams.

Tight end Matthew Mulligan. Mulligan has bounced around the NFL since entering the league back in 2008, but his most prolonged stay was with the Jets, as he was with the team from the 2009 to 2011 seasons, catching six passes in 34 games played.

Running back Leon Washington. A fourth-round pick of the Jets during the 2006 draft, Washington enjoyed success both as a runner, receiver and returner during four seasons with the Jets. His most productive year came as a rookie, during which he totaled 151 carries for 650 yards and four scores. He was named an All Pro for the Jets in both 2007 and 2008.

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