Here's Which Former Patriots Will Be a Part of Super Bowl LIV
New England Patriots' players and coaches of the past branch out to other teams across the NFL. It is fascinating to especially look at all the assistant coaches under Bill Belichick that have since earned head coaching positions.
In a copycat league, a team with success like New England will obviously have other teams trying to poach people from their building and try to do something similar with their respective team.
Super Bowl LIV between the San Fransisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs may not be littered with former Patriots players (in fact, only two spent full seasons on the team). However, just Jimmy Garoppolo alone should interest fans from New England.
Here are the players with former ties to the Patriots:
("*" indicates the player did not play an entire season with the team)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
*K Robbie Gould
*WR Jordan Matthews
WRs coach Wes Welker
*GM John Lynch
*DT Mike Pennel
Run game/DL coach Brendan Daly
Garoppolo and Welker
Garoppolo has several people to thank for his limited work load last week against the Green Bay Packers. He only had to throw eight passes in the entire NFC Championship game and only had to target his top weapon, George Kittle, once to win by 17 points over Aaron Rodgers.
Those people to thank include his offensive line, Raheem Mostert (who ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns in that game), and his coaches, like Welker, who helped devise a masterful scheme to bully Green Bay on the ground. San Fransisco put on a show when it came to blocking last weekend. Interestingly enough, Coach Welker has stressed importance in blocking to his receivers this season and they did that well in order to secure the victory.
A name that should sound familiar to Patriots fans is Brendan Daly. He served in New England as the defensive line coach up until around this time last year. Daly was a part of the swarm of assistant coaches that left the Patriots last offseason. That swarm included Brian Flores, Chad O'Shea, Josh Boyer, and Jerry Schuplinski.
After several years of great work, he signed with Kansas City, as he had rumored family ties there. He has since been doing a great job with the Chiefs' defensive line and has fought through a lot of injuries with his runningbacks. Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy, and Darrel Williams all struggled to stay on the field at times this season. However, with Williams managing to stay healthy, he has seemed to have found his stride.
In the other locker room, the Chiefs have Pennel, who was cut loose by New England this August. He was originally tasked with filling the void left by now New Orleans Saints d-tackle, Malcom Brown. Pennel was dubbed as the potential signing of the offseason for the Patriots and a potential steal in free agency. Instead, he hit the open market last summer and would later sign with Kansas City.
Pennel has since made a great pair with fellow defensive tackle, Chris Jones. He showed that last week against the Titans with several great plays. It is almost too bad that his tenure ended before it really started in New England. He might have been another solid piece with Danny Shelton, Adam Butler, and Lawrence Guy. Apparently, the Patriots' staff thought otherwise.
Gould and Matthews are two players who have had solid careers but came to New England at the wrong time. Both were also cut in training camp.
Matthews suffered a hamstring injury that resulted in an injury settlement with the team. He was slated to be a nice addition to the 2018 receiving core.
Many may not remember Gould's time with the Patriots; but it came in 2005. Gould was an undrafted free agent signing, however, he found himself fighting for a job with the Super Bowl legend, Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri won the job and Gould was cut, only to find himself on the Chicago Bears later that year. In Chicago, Gould would spend a majority of his career and New England not too long after would draft Stephen Gostkowski. The rest of the story is history.
Both Matthews and Gould have had difficult years. Matthews has struggled to make an impact on a depth chart that he seems to be far down on, and Gould has battled injury this season. However, unlike Matthews, Gould appears to be catching stride.
Lynch was another preseason addition that did not pan out. In 2008, he signed with the Patriots, but did not have anything left in the tank. His long, storied career would come to an end in New England. His claim to fame came in Tampa Bay and Denver. He has now constructed a very good 49ers squad with head coach Kyle Shanahan. He has done it by bulking up the trenches on both sides of the ball, building a strong runningback core, and most of all, being patient. Applaud Lynch for constructing a tremendous roster as GM.
Try to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday by watching players who once wore the same colors you wear every gameday, near the TV. It's the only thing a Patriot fan can do at this point.