FOXBOROUGH — In the NFL, you can connect most coaches via a coaching tree that branches out to head coaches, coordinators and assistants.
This photo is from 2003, when Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini were pals. Things have changed a little since that time. The connection between Mangini and Belichick is well documented, but there are a few other coaches who have ties in this weekend’s Patriots-Browns matchup.
Here is a glimpse of just how small the coaching world can be in the NFL.
In 1996, Mangini and Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien were members of the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff in 1996. Mangini was an offensive assistant coach and O’Brien coached special teams.
Brad Seely, who is the Browns’ special teams coordinator, and Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia have been on the same coaching staff twice. They coached together with the Indianapolis Colts when Seely was there from 1989 to 1993 as a special teams/tight ends coach. And they coached the offensive line together in 1981 at Southern Methodist University.
Browns defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson were teammates on the New York Jets in 1997.
Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea worked with Browns linebacker Scott Fujita when he was an assistant special teams/linebackers coach with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004.
A few of the connections are no surprise. Patriots defensive backs coach Corwin Brown was on the Jets staff in 2006 and is connected to a number of players