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Saints' Sean Payton returns to work at Senior Bowl, says rebuilding process will be painful

  • 78a4e88dca176f02270f6a706700a858.jpg

    New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton talks with assistant head coach Joe Vitt, left, during Senior Bowl football practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. The NFL reinstated Payton on Tuesday following a season long suspension. Vitt served has head coach during the suspension. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (The Associated Press)

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    New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, center, talks with assistant head coach Joe Vitt, second from left, during Senior Bowl football practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. The NFL reinstated Payton on Tuesday following a season long suspension. Vitt served has head coach during the suspension. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (The Associated Press)

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    New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt, right, talks with radio announcer Greg Robinson during Senior Bowl football practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. Vitt served as head coach during the season long suspension of head coach Sean Payton. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (The Associated Press)

  • ade395acabc05a02270f6a706700b2b5.jpg

    New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt, left, talks with an associate during Senior Bowl football practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. Vitt served as head coach during the season long suspension of head coach Sean Payton. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (The Associated Press)

  • 3e98da7babc95a02270f6a7067001754.jpg

    New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt, left, talks with an associate during Senior Bowl football practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. Vitt served as head coach during the season long suspension of head coach Sean Payton. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) (The Associated Press)

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.