Friday, October 18, 2013
Highlighting Patriots-Jets connections
By Field Yates
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.