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Super Bowl LII Players, Coaches With Local Ties

January 30, 2018
By Evan Raigrodski

Here are some players and coaches with local connections to keep an eye on when the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots face off in Super Bowl LII in Minnesota Feb. 3.

EAGLES

Torrey Smith, wide receiver 
Local Connection: University of Maryland 2007-2010; Baltimore Ravens 2011-2014

During his first full season with the Eagles, Smith ranked fourth on the team in receptions (36) and receiving yards (430). Smith, who has always been known for his ability to catch deep passes, could play an important role for the Eagles. Smith will look to earn his second Super Bowl ring after winning his first as a member of the 2012 Ravens.

Timmy Jernigan, defensive lineman
Local Connection: Baltimore Ravens 2014-2016 

The Eagles acquired Jernigan in a trade with the Ravens in April 2017, and he went on to start 15 games for Philadelphia this season. Jernigan only recorded 2.5 sacks and 16 tackles on the year, but he signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the team.

Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator 
Local Connection: Born in Halethorpe, Md.; graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School

The fiery and passionate Schwartz has led a dominant Eagles defense during his second season as coordinator. The Eagles ranked fourth in total defense during the regular season.

Frank Reich, offensive coordinator 
Local Connection: University of Maryland 1981-1984

Reich, the former Maryland quarterback who is in his second year as offensive coordinator, led the Eagles to the No. 3 ranking in total offense. Reich has shown the ability to make adjustments, as the Eagles have not missed a beat after a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Carson Wentz. 

Rodney McLeod, safety
Local Connection: Born in Clinton, Md.; graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School

McLeod has made an impact on the Eagles' defense during his second season with the team. He started 14 games and tied for second on the team with three interceptions. 

Dannell Ellerbe, linebacker
Local Connection: Baltimore Ravens 2009-2012

Ellerbe signed with the Eagles midseason and started two games. He has struggled with injuries throughout his career and again finds himself banged up, this time with a hamstring injury. Ellerbe will be playing for his second Super Bowl championship after winning his first as a starter with the 2012 Ravens. 

PATRIOTS

Bill Belichick, head coach 
Local Connection: Raised in Annapolis, Md.; graduate of Annapolis High School; Baltimore Colts 1975

Belichick grew up in Annapolis, where his father coached at Navy for 33 years. He will be going for his sixth Super Bowl ring as head coach, which may cement him as the greatest coach of all time. His coaching career began at age 23 as a special assistant to Baltimore Colts head coach Ted Marchibroda.

Lawrence Guy, defensive lineman 
Local Connection: Baltimore Ravens 2014-2016

In Guy's first season with the Patriots, he played in all 16 games during the regular season and started 15. Guy recorded 34 tackles and one sack. He will be playing in his first Super Bowl. 

Joe Cardona, long snapper 
Local Connection: Navy 2011-2014 

The second highest-drafted long snapper in NFL history, Cardona, who was drafted in the fifth round, is in his third season in New England. He will be looking for his second Super Bowl ring. A graduate of Navy, Cardona also holds a position in the U.S. Naval Reserve with a rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. 

Photo Credit: Sabina Moran and Mitch Stringer/PressBox