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Sean Payton: 'Mr. Positive' for 2013 New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton's return to the New Orleans Saints' sidelines will be one of the biggest storylines throughout the 2013 regular season. But in many ways, his return to coaching already is in full swing.

Payton is setting a tone that looks to get past all things "Bountygate," rather than use his exile as a motivating factor.

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"I think the early returns on Sean Payton's enthusiasm and verve for the New Orleans Saints job are extremely positive," Peter King of SI.com wrote Monday. "He's Mr. Positive, from what I hear, instead of Mr. Bitter."

That assessment dovetails with everything coming out of the Saints' facility. Punter Thomas Morstead told the Times-Picayune recently that Payton had some "negative" energy that was pent up on his first day back at work, and then moved on.

"He got it out. Then it was, 'Let's roll,'" Morstead said.

Linebacker Martez Wilson said having Payton back felt like "being out of prison." The coach has changed much of the Saints' conditioning program.

"A lot of positive energy," Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief said of Payton. "Too much energy. Holy cow. Yeah, he's revved up. And it'll be good for us. ... You know, it feels normal again."

It's been a while since things have been normal in New Orleans. Instead of using last year's drama as a rallying cry, Payton seems eager to turn the page.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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