New England Patriots: Greg Orton

Pats-Broncos connections, Part 2

January, 17, 2014
Each week we use this space to highlight members of the New England Patriots' upcoming opponent's organization who have ties to the New England area. Given that the Patriots have previously played the Broncos, we'll switch things up and highlight current members of the Patriots' organization that have ties to Denver, led by head coach Bill Belichick.

Head coach Bill Belichick. After starting his career with the Baltimore Colts, Belichick spent two years in Detroit. That led to a season in Denver with the Broncos, where he served as the assistant special teams coach and a defensive assistant for the 1979 season. He would wind up with the Giants a year later and spent the next decade with that franchise.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. A meteoric rise up the coaching ladder landed McDaniels as the head coach in Denver in 2009, and he spent nearly two seasons with the team. He started out 6-0, but struggles ensued thereafter. However, McDaniels' imprint remains with the team, including drafting many prominent players who will be on the field this Sunday, led by Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Zane Beadles, Knowshon Moreno and others.

Special teams coach Scott O'Brien. A longtime special teams coach (a role he's had with the Patriots since 2009), O'Brien spent the 2007-2008 seasons in Denver in that capacity.

Assistant director of pro scouting Dave Ziegler. Ziegler joined the Patriots this past offseason after spending three seasons in Denver in the scouting department.

Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga. Now a starter along the Patriots' defensive line, Siliga spent parts of three seasons with the Broncos, originally being signed to the team's practice squad. Siliga has been a part of four organizations during his young NFL career: the Patriots, Broncos, 49ers and Seahawks, the final four teams in this year's playoffs.

Wide receiver Greg Orton. Now a practice squad receiver for the Patriots, Orton had two stints with the Broncos earlier in his NFL career during parts of the 2011-2013 seasons.

Bonus connections: A pair of former Patriots have also recently been signed by the Broncos, as defensive back Marquice Cole was signed on Monday, while defensive end Jeremy Mincey, a 2006 sixth-round pick, was added on December 17.

Pats plan for tall WRs with Orton move?

December, 31, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots filled the final spot on their practice squad Tuesday by announcing the signing of receiver Greg Orton, a move that might have been made with playoff preparations in mind.

At 6-foot-3, Orton gives the Patriots a taller target on the scout team. In the divisional round of the playoffs, two of the Patriots' three potential opponents have talented taller receivers at the top of their depth chart -- Cincinnati's A.J. Green (6-4) and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe (6-2). The other potential opponent, Indianapolis, has 6-3 rookie Da'Rick Rogers.

Signing Orton gives the Patriots' defensive backs a more accurate practice look at what they could be going up against.

The 27-year-old Orton spent part of 2011 and all of 2012 on the Broncos' practice squad. After playing in college at Purdue, he originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Bengals in 2009.

Orton had stints with the Arena Football League's Spokane Shock and the United Football League's Omaha Knights before joining Denver's practice squad. He went to training camp with the Broncos this past summer.