Saints Coach Sean Payton Denies Bad Blood with Buccaneers Coach Dirk Koetter

Saints coach Sean Payton on Wednesday denied that there is any bad blood with Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter, despite a rather animated exchange when their two teams squared off in Week 17, a game the Bucs won 31-24, Jenna Laine of ESPN reports.

“Not at all,” said Payton, who is serving as the head coach of the NFC team at the Pro Bowl.

“Listen, he’s a great coach and a good friend and when you get into these games, you just get going 100 miles an hour,” Payton said. “I know he’s building his team, and I like just meeting some of [Koetter’s] guys who are out here. But it’s all good.”

Payton and Koetter exchanged aggressive, friendly chest slaps during the coaches’ handshake. Then Payton brought up the Week 9 scuffle in which Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans launched himself into the back of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore after quarterback Jameis Winston tapped Lattimore on the back of the helmet. Evans was slapped with a one-game suspension while Winston was fined.

In video captured by Tampa’s Fox 13 WTVT-TV, Payton can be heard telling Koetter, “Here’s the thing, I got pissed in the last game,” before Koetter replied, “Because I couldn’t see it.”

Payton grimaced and started to walk away before Koetter said, “Hey, Sean, if I would’ve seen it …”

But Payton said, “Come on,” and walked away.


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