Saints, Buccaneers Connections

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Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive back Trevin Wade (30) breaks up a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s rivalry game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will turn brother against brother, son against father as there are several players with mutual connections on both teams.

Saints cornerback Brian Dixon and Bucs cornerback Brandon Dixon are twin brothers. Brian went undrafted and was signed by the Saints. Brandon was drafted by the Jets, cut during the preseason, and then signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay guard Logan Mankins and Saints tight end Benjamin Watson were teammates during their time with the New England Patriots. Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Tampa Bay wide receiver Vincent Jackson were teammates in San Diego.

Former Saints linebacker Johnathan Casillas plays for Tampa Bay, while former Bucs full back Erik Lorig and former Bucs quarterback Luke McCown plays for New Orleans. McCown’s older brother, Josh, plays for the Buccaneers.

Saints safety Jairus Byrd will face off against his father, Buccaneers secondary coach Gil Byrd. Gil Byrd also coached with Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt in St. Louis.

Saints director/player development Fred McAfee played for Tampa Bay in 1999. Saints head coach Sean Payton will be coaching against Bucs head coach Lovie Smith for the seventh time in his career. Their series is tied at three with Payton winning the last game he coached against Smith.

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