Saints guard Jahri Evans said he looked forward to catching up with Payton just to see how he's been doing. He called Payton "a special guy" for his play calling and coaching ability.
Evans expects the Saints will benefit from Payton's observations from afar during this season.
"I think he had a different view of the game and he's going to use that to his" advantage, Evans said.
One advantage of the forced hiatus for Payton was getting to coach his son's youth league team for two practices and a game each week.
"We got to the Super Bowl but we lost that game," Payton said. "I needed those players on that team probably more than they needed me."
He has had quite a bit of success with big boy football, too.
Payton, who recently signed a five-year contract extension through 2017, has steered the franchise to its most successful period, including three NFC South division titles and four postseason appearances. Two of his teams advanced to the NFC Championship and the 2009 squad won Super Bowl XLIV.
He said the challenges of rebuilding after a losing season will be painful and that his comeback won't guarantee an immediate return to winning.
Payton said the Saints' struggles defensively and running the ball early in the season, along with problems with special teams at times, made it tough to win — with or without the bounty scandal.
Payton, citing advice from Bill Parcells, noted that his presence won't mean an automatic return to big success. It was the Saints first losing season since 2007
"Coach Parcells said to me that this mind-set that you're back and all of a sudden you're back to winning 11, 12, 13 games doesn't exist, because you very well could win five the next year," he said. "He's right. We've got a lot of things we've got to correct to get to where we want to go. That's just the truth."
He said he hadn't started talking to Loomis regarding any possible changes in the coaching staff . The rest of the staff conducted its evaluation of the offense on Tuesday.
Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has left to become the Bears offensive coordinator.
Defensively, the Saints allowed 7,042 yards, the most ever in a season, under first-year coordinator Steve Spagnuolo but also improved enough to later record the club's first shutout in 17 years.
"This meeting we're going to have is going to be painful," Payton said. "We've got a lot of tough meetings ahead. That's what 7-9 is. Those are our biggest challenges."
Associated Press Writer Oskar Garcia in Honolulu contributed to this report.