Tonight, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will square off in Super Bowl XLV to decide who pro football's champion will be for, at minimum, the next 12 months.
There are several people participating in this game that have direct ties to the Buffalo Bills organization. There are many more men currently in Buffalo's organization with ties back to either of these teams.
Green Bay-to-Buffalo Connections
- In 2005, Bob Sanders served as the Packers' defensive ends coach. The next year, he was promoted to defensive coordinator, where he served the next three years under Mike McCarthy. When the Packers decided to move to the 3-4 defense prior to the 2009 season, Sanders was fired, and he landed in Buffalo as Dick Jauron's defensive line coach. He now serves as the Bills' outside linebackers coach for Chan Gailey.
- Back in 2004 and 2005, when Mike Mularkey was the Bills' head coach, his offensive coordinator was Tom Clements, who had followed Mularkey to Buffalo from, yes, Pittsburgh. Clements has served as Green Bay's quarterback coach since 2006, and is credited with a lot of the development seen from Aaron Rodgers.
- Bills backup quarterback Brian Brohm was a second-round pick of the Packers in 2008. The Bills signed him off of Green Bay's practice squad in November of 2009.
- Bills tight end David Martin began his professional career with the Packers, playing in Green Bay from 2001 to 2006.
- Bills VP of College Scouting Tom Modrak worked for the Steelers for the better part of two decades, starting on the low rung of the ladder as a scout before eventually running the scouting department for two years. He started with the Steelers in 1973, and left them to join the Eagles in 1998.
- Bills Assistant GM and Director of Pro Personnel Doug Whaley joined the team last season after spending the previous 11 years with the Steelers as the team's pro scouting coordinator.
- Bills head coach Chan Gailey reached Super Bowl XXX with the Steelers as the team's offensive coordinator. He worked as an offensive assistant under Bill Cowher from 1994 to 1997.
- Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau spent one solitary year - 2003 - with the Bills as the team's assistant head coach. Popular misconception: LeBeau worked for Gregg Williams, not Mike Mularkey.
- Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler worked for the Bills from 2007-2009 under Dick Jauron. He spent the first year as the assistant to Jim McNally, then took over for two years when McNally retired.
- Bills guard Kraig Urbik was a third-round pick of the Steelers in 2009. Buffalo claimed Urbik off waivers from Pittsburgh just prior to the start of the 2010 season.
- Steelers left tackle Jonathan Scott spent the 2009 season with the Bills, seeing playing time at both left and right tackle. He followed Kugler, his position coach, to the Steelers as a free agent this year.
- Chris Ellis was Buffalo's third-round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2008. He made the transition to outside linebacker in 2010, was cut after a month on the job, and now resides on the Steelers' practice squad.
- Another Steelers practice squad member, Ra'Shon Harris, spent a very brief period of time with the Bills in the same capacity during the 2010 season.