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New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions Connections

A look at the franchise connections between the Saints and Lions.

NFL: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints are set to face the Detroit Lions for the 26th time. The Lions currently lead the NFC rivalry with a record of 12-12-1, including one playoff victory from the 2011 season. For some players and coaches, there will be some familiar faces on the opposing sidelines in the Superdome. Here we take a look at the connections shared between the two teams.


  • New Orleans running back Mark Ingram attended Flint Southwestern Academy as a high school senior in 2007 and earned All-State and Detroit Free Press Offensive Dream Team honors after rushing for 1,699 yards and 24 touchdowns, also registering 84 tackles with eight interceptions on defense.
  • Saints safety Rafael Bush played for Detroit in 2016 and played in all16 games with four starts, recording 48 tackles (31 solo), one sack, two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, three passes defended and five special teams tackles.
  • New Orleans guard Larry Warford was a third-round draft pick (65th overall) of the Lions in 2013 out of the University of Kentucky and opened 57 games over four seasons.
  • Lions guard Tim Lelito was signed as an undrafted free agent by New Orleans in 2013 and played for the Saints from 2013-16.
  • New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan and Detroit wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. were college teammates at the University of California.
  • New Orleans linebacker Manti T’eo, Detroit running back Theo Riddick and wide receiver Golden Tate were college teammates at Notre Dame.
  • New Orleans safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, wide receiver Michael Thomas and Detroit tackle Taylor Decker were college teammates at Ohio State.

Coaching/Front Office

  • Saints Quarterbacks Coach Joe Lombardi served as offensive coordinator of the Lions from 2014-15.
  • Detroit Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano coached special teams in New Orleans from 1986-95.
  • Lions Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Harold Nash Jr. is a New Orleans native who attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana and joined the football team as a walk-on, where he played defensive back for four seasons
  • .Lions Assistant Head Coach/ Offensive Line Ron Prince tutored Brandon Coleman in 2013 at Rutgers where he served as offensive coordinator.