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Inside the Game: New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams connections

Take an inside look at the connections between the Saints and Rams before their Week 9 matchup on Sunday, Nov. 4. 

New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams connections

  • Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips served as defensive coordinator of the Saints from 1981-85 under his father head coach Bum Phillips and handled interim coaching duties for the last four contests of the 1985 campaign
  • Saints pass rush specialist Brian Young was a fifth round draft pick of the Rams in 2000 and played for them from 2000-03
  • Rams defensive line coach Bill Johnson is a Monroe native who played at Northwestern State and coached at his alma mater, McNeese State and Louisiana Tech and served in the same position with the Saints from 2009-16. Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen also served on the same coaching staff with Phillips and Johnson in Atlanta
  • Rams run game coord. Aaron Kromer served on the New Orleans staff from 2008-12
  • Rams scout Billy Johnson also served a post-graduate year as Tulane's long-snapper
  • Saints special teams coordinator Bradford Banta played at USC and served on the same Detroit staff with Rams asst. head coach/linebackers Joe Barry in Detroit in 2008
  • Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers played at LSU from 2010-11
  • Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen is a Simi Valley, Calif. native, who started 30 games at defensive tackle at USC from 1998-2001, finished his college playing career with 107 career tackles and was voted the team's Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1999. He coached at his alma mater in 2002 as a graduate assistant and played for the Arena Football League's Los Angeles Avengers in 2004
  • Saints running back Mark Ingram and Rams linebacker Mark Barron won the 2009 BCS National Championship at Alabama as teammates in Tuscaloosa
  • Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the grandson of former New Orleans offensive lineman Jake Kupp, who is a member of the Saints All-50th team
  • Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth is a Monroe native who played at LSU and was a member of the team's 2003 national championship team
  • Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and Rams guard Jamon Brown played together at Louisville
  • Rams defensive tackle Tanzel Smart is a Baton Rouge native who played at Tulane for Saints senior offensive assistant/wide receivers Curtis Johnson, who served as head coach for the Green Wave
  • Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas prepped at Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) and Taft Charter (Woodland Hills, Calif.) HS, where as a senior in 2010, he caught 86 passes, 21 for touchdowns
  • Saints safety Marcus Williams prepped at Eleanor Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) HS and played with Rams cornerback Dominique Hatfield at Utah
  • Saints cornerback P.J. WIlliams played with Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner at Florida State
  • Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas played at Southern Mississippi
  • Saints senior defensive assistant Peter Giunta was defensive backs coach for the Rams in 1997, then was the co-defensive coordinator during the 1998-1999 seasons and in 2000 was the defensive coordinator
  • Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks was New Orleans' first round draft pick in 2014 and played for the club in his first three NFL seasons.

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