Connections abound for Lions-Jaguars preseason matchup

Posted Aug 21, 2014

From homecomings to former teammates there are plenty of interesting connections between Detroit and Jacksonville.

When the Lions and Jaguars take the field on Friday for pre-game warmups, expect to see a lot of handshakes exchanged between opponents that are very familiar with one another.

From former teammates to Michigan homecomings, Friday’s matchup has plenty of interesting connections.

Familiar Foe
Five Lions played with the Jaguars before joining the Lions. Here's a breakdown of some other Lions that have previously played for Jacksonville:

  • Cornerback Rashean Mathis played 10 seasons with the Jaguars before joining the Lions last year.
  • Fullback Montell Owens was with the Jaguars for seven seasons before joining Detroit in 2013.
  • Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley played three seasons in Jacksonville before coming over to the Lions last season.
  • Linebacker Julian Stanford spent the past two seasons with Jacksonville.
  • Safety Don Carey posted career highs in games played, starts and tackles in 2010 with Jacksonville.
Chad HenneChad Henne (Photo: Associated Press)

Welcome Home, Wolverines
A pair of Jaguars return to the region where they established collegiate records. Denard Robinson and Chad Henne rank No. 1 and 2 respectively on the University of Michigan’s all-time total offense record list. Robinson accumulated 10,745 yards of total offense to top Henne’s previous record of 9,400 yards.

Coaching Connections
Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley and Lions wide receiver coach Robert Prince go all the way back to Fort Lewis College, where they worked on opposite sides of the ball for two seasons. Bradley was the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach while Prince was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Here are some more coaching connections between the two teams' staffs:

  • Prince served as the assistant wide receivers coach for the Jaguars during the 2007 and ’08 seasons.
  • Lions assistant head coach/tight ends coach Ron Prince was an assistant offensive line coach with Jacksonville in 2012.
  • Lions defensive backs coach Tony Oden was Jacksonville’s secondary/cornerbacks coach last season.
  • Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego held the same position in Jacksonville during the 2012 season.
  • Lions assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson worked as the Jaguars tight ends coach in 2012.
  • Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was an offensive assistant and then the quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints while Jaguars special teams coach Mike Mallory was an assistant special teams coach and assistant secondary coach with the Saints during the 2007 and ’08 seasons. Oden also coached with the pair in New Orleans.

Teammates Re-connected

  • Lions wide receiver Golden Tate and running back Theo Riddick played with Jaguars tackle Sam Young at Notre Dame during the 2009 season.
  • Tate will line up against his former Seattle Seahawks teammates Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Allen Bradford.