Highlighting Patriots-Panthers connections

Each week we use this space to highlight connections between the Patriots and their upcoming opponent. Below is an overview of members of the Panthers organization with New England ties.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly. A star on the Panthers' defense, Kuechly is perhaps the best defensive player in Boston College history. During his final season as an Eagle, Kuechly swept every major defensive award in the NCAA and was a first-team All-American every season that he played.

General manager Dave Gettelman. Now in his first season as the Panthers' GM, Gettelman hails from Boston. He went on to attend Springfield College before starting his NFL career with the Bills.

Assistant strength and conditioning coach Jason Benguche. Like Gettelman, Benguche attended Springfield College, where he was a member of the football team. He went on to work as a graduate assistant at UMass-Amherst.

In addition, Patriots special-teams coach Scott O’Brien has ties to the Panthers; he was the team’s assistant head coach/special-teams coach in 1999-2004.