Updated at: 01/23/2013 5:07 PM
By JOHN ZENOR
(AP) MOBILE, Ala. - Sean Payton has returned to work following a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty program.
The New Orleans Saints coach watched Senior Bowl practice Wednesday and planned to meet later in the day with the staff to evaluate a defense that struggled.
Payton says the challenges of rebuilding after a losing season will be painful and that his return won’t guarantee an immediate return to winning.
He declined to say if he planned any changes to his coaching staff during a 45-minute session with reporters. He spoke a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lifted his suspension.
Payton says he and Goodell agreed not to discuss specifics when asked whether there was an organized bounty system.
Payton watched practice from the stands with Saints officials.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)