Sean Payton took the ultimate bottom-line approach in providing motivation to his New Orleans Saints players last Monday, as they began preparing for Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
During a team meeting, the coach showed his players a glass case full of cash — reflecting the $200,000-plus each man stood to receive in bonuses if the Saints advanced to and won the Super Bowl — and a Lombardi Trophy.
‘We care about bringing that trophy back to New Orleans’
Linebacker A.J. Klein took it all in, along with his teammates. For him, though, that silver trophy was all the motivating that was necessary.
“These weeks and this run that we hope to have, these are the things and the times that we will remember.”
“Obviously, the money’s not the thing that we care about,” Klein told Lance Medow and Kirk Morrison on Late Hits. “We care about winning a championship and bringing that trophy back to New Orleans and taking everything one step at a time. But just focusing on the process and focusing on day-in and day-out and practicing and being detailed in our work.
‘We’ll remember the trophy, the guys, the locker room and the culture of what we’re doing’
“I mean, these weeks and this run that we hope to have, these are the things and the times that we will remember the most. We won’t remember the bonus. We don’t remember all that. We’ll remember the trophy, the guys, the locker room and the culture of what we’re doing.”
Klein believes the Saints are “enjoying the process” of preparing for a playoff game.
‘I think we’re having fun with it, but at the same time, being detailed in our preparation’
“I still think we’re focused,” he said. “I think we’re having fun with it, but at the same time, being detailed in our preparation and staying focused on the task at hand. I think all season long Coach has done a great job of balancing the two, and this week is no different.”
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