Saints head coach Sean Payton
About the Author
Recent posts by Dan Parr
It's not difficult to get lost in the emotion of playing in a Super Bowl, especially when you're the team playing for a city that is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, but Saints head coach Sean Payton did a good job of putting things in perspective when he was asked Friday whether his team faces the added danger of getting too wrapped up in trying to win for New Orleans because of all the city has been through. You can bet he's delivered a similar message to his team in the past few days, and perhaps even years.
Throughout this week, just about every Saints player was asked at least once about how much a title would mean to the city of New Orleans.
Payton said all the talk about winning one for the city stops before players enter the meeting room or the practice field.
"I think throughout the course of the week and by game time, I don't think when we meet or talk, there's any of this, 'We've got to win one for the city' speech," Payton said. "In other words, I think that's just a sense, a feeling that exists or permeates really throughout the course of the year or throughout the course of the players' time here. That sense of or that feeling of, 'This is pretty important to everyone,' and they remind us daily how great the fans are. They remind us daily how important it is to them. So that being said, I think games like this come down to the execution, the details. Players will be excited to play. All the little things that really allow you to win games and all the little things that potentially could cause you to lose games, and I think they understand that."
The Saints are able to compartmentalize. They probably wouldn't have made it this far if they were unable to do so. Their focus appears to be, as it shoud, on a gameplan that has to be executed well before anyone can celebrate a victory.