Friendship of head coaches put on hold for three hours

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (left) shakes hands with Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter.Photo: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs Coach Dirk Koetter: "He's a terrific coach and a great guy. But this Sunday we won't be on the same side."

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter have known each other since their playing days at Idaho State.

It's a friendship that transcends football.

"Marvin's a year older than me and he came to Idaho State from the Pittsburgh area. He was recruited there as a quarterback," Koetter said. "So Idaho State has an indoor field and my high school team - the high school team I played on - we practiced after them. We would sit in the stands and watch them practice and Marvin was the scout-team quarterback his first year. When I committed to go to Idaho State, I was thinking me and Marvin were going to be competing for the backup quarterback job at that time. They ended up moving Marvin to defense. He became a, I think, three-time all-conference linebacker.

"When he was done playing, Marvin became a coach. By that time, my dad was the head coach at Idaho State. After I finished playing, I was a high school coach. Marvin introduced me to my wife. Marvin's wife went to school with us at Idaho State. Marvin's daughter was the flower girl in our wedding. Marvin and I were in each other's weddings, so we go back a long way. Marvin's a great guy. Anyone who's spent time talking to him, he's a terrific coach and a great guy. But this Sunday we won't be on the same side."

It's the first time Lewis and Koetter will oppose each other as head coaches when the Bucs travel to Cincinnati for a 1 p.m. (EDT) game.

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