Highlighting Patriots-Browns connections

Each week, we use this space to highlight members of the Patriots’ upcoming opponent’s organization that have ties to the Patriots from previous stops during their NFL career.

This week, we examine not only current Browns with Patriots ties, but also the strong ties between the Patriots coaching staff and the Browns.


Quarterback Brian Hoyer. Now on injured reserve, the former undrafted free agent turned backup to Tom Brady earned his chance to be a starter for the Browns earlier this season, playing well in leading the team to three wins in three starts. Hoyer suffered a torn ACL, however, shelving him for the balance of 2013.

Senior pro scout Frank Edgerly. Edgerly broke into the NFL with the Patriots from 2009-12 after spending 10 years as the head coach at Red Bank Catholic high school in New Jersey. He started off as a pro scout for the 2009 season before transitioning to an area scout role for his final three years with the Patriots.


Head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick, who called his time with the Browns “important years” of his life, was the head coach from 1991-95, his first head coaching experience. Belichick took the team to the playoffs one time during those five seasons, advancing to the divisional round.

Director of football research Ernie Adams. Adams, among Belichick’s most trusted assistants, was a member of the Browns staff from 1991-95 as an offensive assistant. He rejoined Belichick when he took the Patriots job after working on Wall Street in an investment business.

Linebackers coach Pepper Johnson. A former player under Belichick, Johnson spent four seasons with the Browns from 1993-96. A popular and respected linebacker, Johnson has developed into one of the more respected assistant coaches in football.

Special-teams coach Scotty O’Brien. O’Brien, like Adams, served on Belichick’s staff from 1991-95 as the special-teams coach. After stints with the Panthers, Dolphins and Broncos, he reunited with Belichick in New England.

Assistant coach Brian Daboll. When the Browns hired former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini as their head coach in 2009 (after a stint as the Jets head coach), Daboll was hired as the offensive coordinator, a role he filled for two seasons. Daboll later served as the offensive coordinator for both Miami and Kansas City before returning to New England in January.