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Inside the Game: Saints vs Rams Connections

Los Angeles Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips served as defensive coordinator of the Saints from 1981-85

Saints vs Rams Connections

  • Los Angeles 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.
  • New Orleans Pass Rush Specialist Brian Young was a fifth-round draft pick of the Rams in 2000 and played for them from 2000-03.
  • Los Angeles 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. New Orleans Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen also served on the same coaching staff with Phillips and Johnson in Atlanta.
  • Los Angeles Offensive Line Coach Aaron Kromer served on the New Orleans staff from 2008-12.
  • Los Angeles Scout Billy Johnson also served a post-graduate year as Tulane's long-snapper.
  • New Orleans Special Teams Coordinator Bradford Banta played at the University of Southern California and served on the same Detroit staff with Lions Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Barry in Detroit in 2008.
  • Los Angeles DT Michael Brockers played at LSU from 2010-11.
  • New Orleans Defensive Line Coach Ryan Nielsen is a Simi Valley, Calif., native, who started 30 games at defensive tackle at the University of Southern California 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.
  • New Orleans RB Jonathan Williams played with Los Angeles QB Brandon Allen at Arkansas.
  • New Orleans RB Mark Ingram II and Los Angeles LB Mark Barron won the 2009 BCS National Championship at Alabama as college teammates in Tuscaloosa.
  • Los Angeles WR Cooper Kupp is the grandson of former New Orleans offensive lineman Jake Kupp, who is a member of the Saints All-50th team.
  • Los Angeles T Andrew Whitworth is a Monroe native who played at Louisiana State and was a member of the team's 2003 national championship team.
  • Saints DT Sheldon Rankins and Rams G Jamon Brown played together at Louisville.
  • Saints DE Hau'Oli Kikaha and Los Angeles LB Cory Littleton were college teammates at Washington.
  • Saints G Josh Leribeus and Los Angeles TE Derek Carrier were teammates in Washington in 2015.
  • New Orleans S Kenny Vaccaro and Los Angeles RB Malcolm Brown, a Biloxi, Miss. native, played together at the University of Texas during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
  • Los Angeles DT Tanzel Smart is a Baton Rouge native who played at Tulane for New Orleans Senior Offensive Assistant/Wide Receivers Curtis Johnson, who served as head coach for the Green Wave.
  • Los Angeles DL Tyrunn Walker is a New Iberia native who played for the Saints from 2012-14.
  • New Orleans WR 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.
  • New Orleans S Marcus Williams prepped at Eleanor Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.) HS and played in college with Los Angeles CB Dominique Hatfield at Utah.
  • New Orleans CB P.J. WIlliams played with Los Angeles S Lamarcus Joyner at Florida State.
  • Los Angeles WR Michael Thomas played at Southern Mississippi.
  • New Orleans Senior Defensive Assistant Peter Giunta was the defensive back coach for the Rams in 1997, then was the co-defensive coordinator during the 1998-1999 seasons and in 2000 was the defensive coordinator.
  • New Orleans QB Drew Brees was tutored by Los Angeles Quarterbacks Coach Greg Olson as a collegiate passer at Purdue. Olson also served as Allen's offensive coordinator when he served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2013-14.

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