Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton seen on the sidelines against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.


Sean Payton tells players to “protect your routine”

Saints not straying from what has made them successful

Steve Geller
January 10, 2019 - 10:51 am

The competition in the NFL gets ramped up another notch in the postseason because it’s a win or go home tournament, but it doesn't’t mean that it’s time to start doing something different to prepare.

“This game is the most important thing this season,” said Saints QB Drew Brees. “I think we've taken that approach each and every game this year; making each game the most important game this season. When you do that you get to a playoff game and everyone talks about, okay well now it is the playoffs and is the preparation different, no. If we have been approaching it this way the whole time, then let's just go play ball. It is another game. We always expect to play our best. We always expect to go out and execute to perfection. So let's go do it.”

It make sense right? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The Black & Gold earned a 13-3 record along with the #1 seed in the NFC, so why stray from what has made you a successful ball club? Head coach Sean Payton says he made sure his players understood that making the playoffs doesn't’t mean you begin doing something out of the ordinary.

“The one thing at the start of the week was everyone typically has a routine and my message was protect your routine," said Payton. “Yesterday, two days ago, before the weekend we were at 12 in this tournament. Now all of a sudden it went to eight. I said ‘The amount of people covering football games hasn't changed. The amount of teams playing in them has.’ So that just means more and more and wanting more. Protect your routine. Make sure we stay the course relative to what we do in regards to recovery, treatment, the mental preparation, all of those things and playing at home. Making sure we don't allow the people closest to us to become distractions with additional tickets. Handle that and stay on schedule.”

Payton did not want to discuss his motivational tool for the team he used Monday having the Lombardi Trophy brought into a meeting on top of a pile of cash with armed guards. But, he is pretty sure players, young and old, realize what is at stake Sunday when they host the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. A trip to the NFC championship and a win closer to a trip to Atlanta for the Superbowl.

“I think the focal point really this week has been on the plan, the routine, the preparation, and winning the game played on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,” stated Payton. “I think that’s the direction that we’ve taken it and really working on being prepared. I think we took the same approach during the bye week. I think these players understand postseason in our league. I think they understand it pretty well.”


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