Even Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz would blush at what transpired after Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New Orleans Saints game.
After the Bucs came back to beat the Saints 31-24 at Raymond James Stadium in the teams’ regular season finale, Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter greeted New Orleans head coach Sean Payton for a customary postgame handshake.
But as you’ll see, things got very strange, very fast.
Payton started the weirdness by giving Koetter some overly aggressive shoulder pats. So, Koetter responded by yanking Payton back and giving him his own shot in the shoulder.
The two then verbally worked out their differences, which stemmed from a Week 9 Bucs-Saints brawl sparked by Mike Evans’ cheap shot on New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
“Here’s the thing,” Payton told Koetter, “I got pissed in the last game (about the brawl).”
Koetter appeared to tell Payton he couldn’t see the fight, adding, “Sean, if I would have seen it…”
But Payton responded with a terse “C’mon,” and walked away, leaving Koetter shaking his head at the bizarre, tense exchange.
It’s pretty rare to see two NFL head coaches get so animated on the field, and even rarer for their back-and-forth to be caught on camera. But if fans are hoping for more Payton-Koetter drama, they’re in luck: The NFC South rivals will play twice more next season, and the Bucs recently announced Koetter will return in 2018 despite Tampa Bay’s brutal 5-11 campaign in 2017.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images