Sean Payton understood emotions were raw in the New Orleans Saints’ dressing room shortly after Sunday’s controversial NFC Championship Game loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Saints’ coach fully recognized, as his players did, that the 26-23 overtime defeat carried with it the weight of knowing that things could have been different had the officials not missed a blatant pass-interference penalty by the Rams late in regulation.
‘You can’t let it hold you back, it can’t be a hindrance’
Saints defensive end Cam Jordan shared the coach’s address to the team with Cole Wright and Kirk Morrison on Pro Bowl Live.
“You have to be able to find the will to make yourself better.”
“I mean, right after the game, (Payton’s message) was just, ‘You realize how close you are and you can’t take that for granted. But at the same time, you can’t let it hold you back, it can’t be a hindrance. So you have to release this burden. You have to be able to find the will to make yourself better,’” Jordan said.
‘It’s easy to get in your feelings about it’
He is trying to follow Payton’s advice.
“It’s easy to to get in your feelings about it, it’s easy to take the easy route and say, ‘Hey, it takes a miracle beat the Saints,’” Jordan said. “You have a miracle catch (in last year’s NFC title game loss against the Minnesota Vikings), then you have a miracle no flag.
‘You have to look at what could we have done to not even put ourselves in that position’
“But at the end of the day, you have to look inside. You have to look at what could we have done to not even put ourselves in that position. For last year’s, had we not been down by what 17. If we had been down by three, it would have been a whole different ballgame. If we had been down by seven, it would have been a whole different ballgame. For this game, you’re going to look at it and be like, ‘What we have done better? Had we been up by 13 and continued putting points on the board, we’d have made that like the first time we played Philly.’”
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