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Inside the Game: New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers connections 

Take an inside look at the connections between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before their season opener on Sunday, Sept. 9

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Connections

  • Saints head coach Sean Payton and Tampa Bay offensive line coach George Warhop served on the same staff with Dallas from 2003-04
  • Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan and Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter were both coordinators for Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith when he was Falcons head coach during a period spanning from 2012-14 when Nolan first arrived in Atlanta as defensive coordinator, also serving on the same Atlanta staff with Tampa Bay assistant wide receivers/game management Andrew Weidinger. Nolan and Smith also served on the same staff in Baltimore from 2001-02. Tampa Bay defensive backs coach Brett Maxie played safety for New Orleans from 1985-93 and also served on the same coaching staff with Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen in Atlanta from 2004-05
  • Saints director of player engagement Fred McAfee played for Tampa Bay in 1999, where he was a teammate of Buccaneers director of football operations Shelton Quarles
  • Tampa Bay college scout Tony Kinkela served as director/football operations at Tulane from 2006-08
  • New Orleans assistant special teams Coach Kevin O'Dea first served on the Buccaneers coaching staff from 1996-2001 and then served as special teams coordinator from 2014-15. In addition to serving on the same Tampa Bay coaching staff in 2015, O'Dea and Tampa Bay quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian and running backs coach Tim Spencer were on the same Chicago coaching staff. O'Dea and Saints asst. offensive line coach Brendan Nugent also served on Chicago coaching staffs with Buccaneers secondary coach Jon Hoke
  • New Orleans senior offensive asst./wide receivers Curtis Johnson and Tampa Bay defensive line coach Jay Hayes were college teammates at the University of Idaho from 1980-81
  • Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander played at Louisiana State from 2012-14
  • Tampa Bay linebacker Kendell Beckwith prepped at East Feliciana HS and also played for the Tigers
  • Tampa Bay assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer was a member of the Saints in 2009 and served as defensive line coach at Jackson State in 2013
  • Saints asst. wide receivers coach Ronald Curry and Buccaneers tight ends coach Ben Steele were teammates in Oakland in 2002
  • Buccaneers special teams coordinator Nate Kazcor served as an assistant on the offensive side of the ball at Louisiana-Monroe from 2006- 07 and also served on the same Idaho coaching staff with Saints running backs coach Joel Thomas from 2004- 05
  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Buccaneers assistant special teams coach Carlos Polk were teammates in San Diego from 2001-05
  • New Orleans area scout Jon Sandusky and Tampa Bay director of player personnel John Spytek served on the same player personnel staffs in Philadelphia and Cleveland
  • Tampa Bay offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Todd Monken served on the Louisiana Tech coaching staff in 2000, served as passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach at LSU from 2005-06 and served as head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi from 2013-15, where he coached New Orleans center Cameron Tom
  • Linebacker Alex Anzalone, Bucs long snapper Drew Ferris and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves played at Florida together in 2014
  • Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Saints linebacker Demario Davis played together with the New York Jets in 2015, Davis then spent the 2017 season with Tampa Bay kicker Chandler Catanzaro
  • Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin played at Tulane for Johnson, who served as head coach and then played for New Orleans from 2013-14 after signing with them as an undrafted free agent
  • Tampa Bay cornerback De`Vante Harris spent his first two NFL seasons with New Orleans from 2016-17 and his father Rod, played for the Saints in 1989
  • Defensive end Trey Hendrickson and linebacker Adarius Taylor held down the defense from 2013-14 at Florida Atlantic University together
  • Tight end Josh Hill and offensive lineman Evan Smith were college teammates at Idaho State in 2009
  • Saints tackle Ryan Ramcyzk played with Bucs linebacker Jack Cichy in 2016 at Wisconsin
  • Defensive end Cameron Jordan was at California in 2010 with Bucs punter Bryan Anger and safety Chris Conte, while Jordan, Conte and DeSean Jackson played together in 2007. Catanzaro also saw action on the Arizona Cardinals with wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and defensive end Alex Okafor in 2014
  • Saints safety Kurt Coleman was a teammate of Jackson on the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-13
  • Defensive back P.J. Williams along with Bucs wide receiver Bobo Wilson won two conference championships and one national championship at Florida State together from 2013-14
  • Defensive lineman Mitchell Loewen played at Arkansas with quarterback Austin Allen from 2014-15
  • Saints cornerback Arthur Maulet and Bucs tight end Alan Cross were college teammates at Memphis in 2015
  • New Orleans wide receiver Cameron Meredith and Buccaneers offensive lineman Michael Liedtke played on the same offense from 2011-12 at Illinois State
  • New Orleans S Vonn Bell, CB Marshon Lattimore, WR Michael Thomas and Tampa Bay DE Noah Spence were college teammates at Ohio State
  • Saints linebacker A.J Klein and Buccaneers linebacker Adarius Taylor were on the Carolina Panthers together in 2014
  • Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate had a 2015 stint on the Saints practice squad
  • New Orleans running back Mike Gillislee prepped at DeLand (Fla.) HS and played at Florida
  • Tampa Bay cornerback Brent Grimes was tutored by Nolan in Atlanta in 2012 and then was signed by Miami in 2013 when Saints assistant general manager/college scouting director Jeff Ireland was General Manager, where he was a teammate of Gillislee and played for Saints assistant/head coach/tight ends Dan Campbell when he served as interim head coach of the Dolphins in 2014
  • New Orleans cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and P.J. Williams both played at Florida State with Williams prepping at Vanguard (Ocala. Fla.) HS
  • New Orleans defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth and Buccaneers defensive tackle Isaiah Johnson were college teammates at the University of South Carolina.

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