VIKINGS-PATRIOTS CONNECTIONS – Vikings’ K Hayden Epstein was a teammate of Patriots’ QB Tom Brady at Michigan…Patriots’ WR Deion Branch played at Louisville when Vikings’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was on the Cardinals’ coaching staff…Linehan was on the coaching staff at Washington when Patriots’ TE Cameron Cleeland, QB Damon Huard, and S Lawyer Milloy played for the Huskies…Huard and Patriots’ LB Larry Izzo played in Miami with Vikings’ DEs Kenny Mixon and Lorenzo Bromell…Vikings’ defensive assistant Pete Bercich played with Patriots’ FB Marc Edwards at Notre Dame…Vikings DEs Kenny Mixon and Chuck Wiley played at LSU with Patriots RB Kevin Faulk…Vikings’ LB Greg Biekert, S Ronnie Bradford, and DT Darius Holland played at Colorado with Patriots’ TE Christian Fauria and LB Ted Johnson…Patriots’ WR Donald Hayes and P Ken Walter played in Carolina with Vikings’ DE Chuck Wiley and G Corbin Lacina…Hayes played at Wisconsin when Vikings’ special teams coach Jay Hayes was on the Badgers’ staff…Jay Hayes coached at California when Patriots S Je’Rod Cherry played for the Golden Bears…Lacina played with Patriots’ RB Antowain Smith in Buffalo…Patriots’ CB Jimmy Hitchcock played for the Vikings for two seasons (1998-99)…Vikings’ LS Brody Liddiard played with Patriots’ TE Daniel Graham and CB Ben Kelly at Colorado…Vikings’ DT Chris Hovan played at Boston College with Patriots’ C Damien Woody…Vikings’ DT Darius Holland and G Everett Lindsay played in Cleveland with Patriots’ FB Marc Edwards, WR David Patten, and when Patriots’ defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was on the Browns’ staff…Vikings’ assistant head coach/defensive line coach George O’Leary coached at Syracuse with Patriots’ running backs coach Ivan Fears and strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik…Patriots’ assistant strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul played at Syracuse when O’Leary, Fears, and Woicik were on the coaching staff…Vikings’ offensive line coach Steve Loney played on the offensive line at Iowa State in 1973 when Patriots’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia coached the Cyclones’ offensive line…Patriots’ G Joe Andruzzi played in Green Bay with Vikings’ DT Darius Holland and LB Jim Nelson and when Vikings’ WR coach Charlie Baggett and DB coach Chuck Knox, Jr. were on the Packers’ staff…Vikings’ S Ronnie Bradford and LB Henri Crockett played in Atlanta with Patriots’ DE Anthony Pleasant…Patriots’ OT Greg Robinson-Randall played at Michigan State when Vikings’ WR coach Charlie Baggett was on the Spartans’ staff.