NEW YORK (AP) Comments on the New Orleans Saints by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (17)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 16) - Sean Payton will be back. So will Saints in 2013.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 16) - With Sean Payton back, Saints could easily return to playoff form.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 18)
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 17) - No one more excited that Sean Payton's back than Drew Brees.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 16) - Saints finally get some good news with the contract extension of suspended coach Sean Payton. He can't get back soon enough. Plenty of work ahead, especially on defense.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 18) - Drew Brees had another spectacular season for the Saints, passing for league highs of 5,177 yards and 43 touchdowns. But it wasn't enough to overcome the NFL's worst defense.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 21) - With Sean Payton back, expect the Saints to return to the NFC hierarchy. Both have something to prove in 2013.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 16) - After a year off for bad behavior, Sean Payton returns to torment NFC defenses.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 15) - Sean Payton returns and the 'lost' season is over. Get some defensive help in the off season and they should be back in the top ten.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 17) - Sean Payton is back and Drew Brees says, "It's on in 2013." Problem is Drew Brees doesn't play defense, where they were awful in 2012.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 19) - Head coach Sean Payton can't return soon enough.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 19) - They had their biggest win of the year over the weekend-re-signing head coach Sean Payton.