Friday, December 20, 2013
Highlighting Pats-Ravens connections
By Field Yates
The Patriots and Ravens have become particularly familiar of late, as they’ve faced each other at least once in five straight seasons.
That includes a postseason matchup in the AFC Championship last season and will continue this weekend when the Patriots travel to Baltimore looking to secure their fifth straight AFC East division crown.
There will be some familiar faces on the Ravens’ side, as the players and other members of their organization with ties to the Patriots are highlighted below.
Safety James Ihedigbo. Now a starting safety for the Ravens, Ihedigbo played 16 games for the Patriots during the 2011 season, starting 12. He finished with 69 tackles that season, setting a career high. He also went to school at UMass.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Pees worked in Foxborough for six seasons, including four as the defensive coordinator on Bill Belichick’s staff. He began his time in New England as the linebackers coach from 2004 to 2005 before shifting roles for the 2006-2009 seasons.
Defensive lineman Arthur Jones. The fourth-year defensive lineman has emerged for the Ravens along the defensive line, just as his younger brother, Chandler, has for the Patriots. Like Chandler, Arthur attended Syracuse. Their older brother, Jonny “Bones” Jones, is the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion.
Tight end/fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The rookie was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round in 2013 after a standout career at Harvard. He was an All-Ivy League selection in 2012.
Assistant GM Eric DeCosta. The Colby College graduate is a native of Taunton, Mass. He’s interviewed for general manager jobs on several occasions and is a well-respected personnel mind.
Defensive line coach Clarence Brooks. A native of New Bedford, Mass., Brooks both played and coached at UMass.
Senior defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo. A former head coach and defensive coordinator in the NFL, Spagnuolo is a Grafton, Mass., native who attended Springfield College. He also coached at UMass earlier in his career.