New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton used an unusual tactic to motivate his players ahead of Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to ESPN, the coach, 55, brought in three armed guards and more than $200K in cash, as well as the Vince Lombardi Trophy and a Super Bowl ring, to a team meeting on Monday to show his players what was at stake in the coming games.
New Orleans bankruptcy attorney Jon DeTrinis first tweeted about the display.
The Saints are only three wins away from their second Super Bowl victory — and the lucrative financial bonuses that come with it.
ESPN reported that the coach had used a similar tactic during the team’s 2009 Super Bowl run.
“If that don’t get you amped up, I don’t know what will,” defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins told NFL.com. “We’re talking about the trophy and if you saw all that money, you’d get excited, too.”
“Guys make good money here. But not too often you see $250,000 cash right there. So that was very appealing,” Saints running back Mark Ingram told ESPN. “The Lombardi sitting right there in front of it, the ring sitting right in front of it, the armed guards. It was pretty dope. But we still gotta go out there and do what we do.”
“That’s definitely motivating,” Ingram continued. “Of course, everybody’s playing to be champions. But that trophy, that bread, all that’s on the line. It’s just another little way to get us going.
Quarterback Drew Brees emphasized that the money was the least important part to them.
“First things first: This game’s the most important game of the season,” Brees said to ESPN. “And I think we’ve taken that approach each and every game this year. So when you do that, and you get to a playoff game and everyone talks about, ‘Now it’s the playoffs,’ well, is the preparation any different? No. We’ve been approaching it this way the whole time… So let’s just go play ball.”