"I think Terron has improved during the course of the season, taking scout team reps, and it's time to see what he can do," Payton said Wednesday, per the Saints' official website. "I visited with Charles this morning and of course he is disappointed, but I'm sure he'll handle this the right way and respond."
Armstead hasn't played a snap on offense this season, but Payton said he believes the change was "necessary right now for us."
Brees: "On Monday, Payton came in and flat out said 'there are going to be some changes here and some of you aren't going to like them"â New Orleans Saints (@ Saints) December 18, 2013
The Saints' offensive line played well in the Week 14 home win against the Panthers. The group gave up just two sacks, for a loss of nine yards, and allowed quarterback Drew Brees to pick apart the Panthers' secondary.
However, Brown struggled mightily last week against Defensive Player of the Year candidate Robert Quinn and has been wildly inconsistent the entire season. Payton likely didn't want to watch that rerun against the combination of Panthers rushers Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.
Payton knows his offense can't function if Brees is under siege. The offensive guru believes the rookie blocker represents the team's best chance to win the division against a great pass-rushing team.