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Koetter, Payton had odd exchange after Bucs’ win over Saints

By Greg Auman
Published: January 1, 2018
Saints coach Sean Payton talks with Bucs coach Dirk Koetter in this screengrab from Fox 13 video of their postgame interaction.(FOX 13 VIDEO)

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter went to midfield after Sunday's win against the Saints expecting the usual handshake and "best of luck"  with Saints coach Sean Payton.

Fox 13's TV cameras picked up an awkward exchange, however, with Payton still upset about Bucs receiver Mike Evans' blindsiding of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the teams' first meeting two months earlier.

Evans apologized and was suspended a game for what he did, but Payton seemed still upset when the two coaches exchanged a handshake but also a series of shots to the other's shoulders.

"Here's the thing. I got pissed in the last game," Payton is heard telling Koetter, who responds by saying "I couldn't see it," talking about Evans' hit near  the Bucs sideline, which he had called "totally unacceptable" the day after the hit.

Payton pulled away as Koetter explained, and Koetter continued, saying "Sean, if I would have seen it," but Payton walked away, leaving Koetter to shake his head in surprise.

Asked about the incident Monday, Koetter took the high road.

"First of all, Sean Payton is a fantastic football coach," Koetter said. "He's been where I would love to go. At the end of the game, I was wishing him good luck in the playoffs."

Asked if Payton was "trying to make a mark" on Koetter, he replied by saying "Well, every guy has their own style, I guess."