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At least we know how long Sean Payton can actually hold a grudge

The Saints head coach, who is directing the NFC team in the Pro Bowl this week in Orlando, forgives himself for his heavy-handed handshake with Dirk Koetter Dec. 31
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter greets New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at midfield following a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter greets New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at midfield following a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
Published Jan. 26, 2018
Updated Jan. 26, 2018

It seems like only a few weeks ago when Saints coach Sean Payton expressed his annoyance with Dirk Koetter and the Bucs with his chest-slapping, heavy-handed handshake following Tampa Bay's 31-24 win over New Orleans.

Apparently, Payton still harbored bad feelings about Mike Evans' Nov. 5  blindside hit on Saints cornerback Marcus Lattimore, which earned a one-week suspension for the Bucs receiver.

Payton didn't exactly make any friends in Minnesota a few weeks ago when he mocked that team's Skol chant, just before Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs pulled off the Minneapolis Miracle with his game-winning 61-yard TD reception to win the NFC divisional playoff game.

But at least Payton is willing to bury his own hatchet, or at least pull it out of the backs of his opponents.

Speaking following Pro Bowl practice in Orlando this week, where he is coaching the NFC team that includes Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Kwon Alexander, Payton forgave himself.

"He's a great coach and a good friend," Payton said of Koetter. "You get into these games, you just get going 100 miles an hour. I know he's building his team, and I like just meeting some of (Koetter's) guys who are out here. But it's all good."