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Bucs coach Morris waves off differences with Bengals' Lewis

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  • By NFL.com
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If there was bad blood between Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris last season, the men appear to have left it on the field.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Saturday that Lewis was angry with Tampa Bay for signing rookie wideout Dezmon Briscoe to its practice squad last September, after the Bengals released the 2010 sixth-round pick in hopes he would wind up on their practice squad.

But Briscoe chose the Bucs over the Bengals because Tampa Bay offered him the rookie minimum of about $325,000, favorable to the roughly $100,000 practice squad contract the Bengals planned to field.

Hearing that Lewis was upset, Morris told reporters at the time that Lewis would be wise to focus on his own team's affairs, fueling speculation that the two were on shaky turf leading up to Week 5's Bucs-Bengals game, which Tampa Bay won 24-21. 

Morris appeared at the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic last week and rejected the notion of problems between the two.

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"That's business, this is about the community and the bigger picture," Morris said. "It's not about whether you have a disagreement on the field or whether I like him on game day.

"I wanted to come in for Marvin and be supportive of him because he's always been supportive of me."

Morris spoke of his respect for Lewis: "When you talk about guys that paved the way not only for coaches but young African-American coaches, he's been a consummate leader.

"To be here as long as he's been here and be a leader in the league as far as rules committee, that's one of those guys that you want to follow after and do the right things. If you keep following that path you have a chance."

The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Briscoe ended up playing in Tampa Bay's final two games, catching six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

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