Sean Payton’s outside-the-box motivational tactics have proven valuable to New Orleans in the past, and his latest ploy just might be his best yet.
In his 12th year as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton has seen a lot of change. As New Orleans kicks off the 2018 postseason, just three players remain from the 2009 Super Bowl-winning roster.
But one thing that has remained constant in over a decade on the job is Payton’s unique ability to get his team motivated with quirky designs and gimmicks.
Payton was back at it again on Monday to kick off the team’s week of preparation for their divisional round matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. As first revealed on Twitter by a New Orleans attorney, Payton arranged for a Super Bowl champion’s potential bounty to be rolled into the locker room and dangled before the players.
Everything that these guys work day in and day out in hopes of someday achieving sat right before them. Payton’s latest scheme achieved the desired effect, as it seems to always do.
“I think everybody in this locker room wants a Super Bowl. But there’s just seeing something in person that just adds a little bit more motivation,” defensive end Alex Okafor said, according to ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “And just seeing that Super Bowl trophy, seeing that cash … I mean, if you ain’t ready to play after that, then we don’t need you.”
His latest motivational idea just lengthens the list of creative tactics the clever head coach has employed. Payton regularly brings cheese and mouse traps in the locker room to remind players not to “take the cheese.” He’s planted empty gas cans in veteran players’ lockers to emphasize the importance of not running out of fuel toward the end of the season.
Back in Week 10 when the Saints traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, Payton’s pregame speech was interrupted by an errant fire alarm in the locker room that sounded for 15 minutes straight. Payton promptly smashed the thing to bits, surely getting a rise out of his players. New Orleans went on to win 51-14.
Payton knows his guys just as well as any coach in football. He knows what gets them fired up and how to get the most out of each and every guy in the locker room.
They had better be fired up on Sunday, because the Eagles are coming into town scorching hot. And if anyone in this league knows about getting hot at the right time, it’s the quarterback on the other sideline.