WATCH: Sean Payton is impressed with Rob Ryan so far

With coach Sean Payton back in charge of the Saints program after a year-long suspension and as New Orleans tries to forget about its disappointing 7-9 record from 2012, Payton visited Jim Rome on Wednesday, where he talked about defensive coordinators past and present.

First, the present with Rob Ryan replacing Steve Spagnuolo after just one year in charge of the defense.

“[Ryan] is passionate about his job,” Payton told Rome. “I spent a lot of time with this decision. I thought it was an important hire for this organization. The more and more research I did, I kept hearing the same words; he’s a good teacher and someone who’s very passionate about his profession.”

So far, Payton said, so good for Ryan.

“This opportunity for him here has been received well by our players, but it’s exciting for him,” Payton said. “He’s going to have a chance to come in here and put his handprint on a defense and become part of a team that’s had success and expects to have success. The fit has been good. So far, he’s doing a great job.”

And as for Gregg Williams, the former Saints defensive coordinator who also was suspended for a year before finding an assistant head coaching job with the Titans, Payton doesn’t hold any grudges.

“Life’s too short,” Payton said. “We had a lot of success here and won a lot of games. He was a part of the Super Bowl championship we enjoyed in 2009. We make decisions and we move forward and we live with the decisions we’ve made. This is in the rearview mirror for us. ... He’s had an opportunity to start over with Tennessee, and we wish him well.”

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