Payton addresses Brees-Shockey flap

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

New Orleans coach Sean Payton downplayed any tension between Drew Brees and Jeremy Shockey at his news conference Monday. That came a day after television cameras captured Brees looking very animated and frustrated with Shockey as the two came off the field after an offensive series in a loss to Atlanta.

"To be honest with you, I didn't see any of that," Payton said. "I've talked with both Drew and Jeremy and you have two guys that are very emotional and very competitive.

"I think a lot has been made out of something that isn't that big of a deal. When Drew comes off, he's going to talk with not only the tight ends, but he's going to talk with the receivers and you're going to see him talk with everyone. That's something that he does a good job with."

Payton went on to explain why Shockey frequently was out of the lineup.

"Going back through the sequence, one of the things that we tried to do was make sure that we had a rotation with receivers," Payton said. "You were going to see a series or two in that fourth quarter where [Marques] Colston was out or Devery [Henderson] was out. We're basically working four receivers for three positions. After we had run one series, Shockey came out, Billy Miller went back in and then Shockey was back on the next one. There's a rotation going on there for good reason."

Point taken. But you have to wonder why in the world the Saints traded draft picks for a former Pro Bowl tight end if they planned to rotate him with Miller.