METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton has been known to get creative when trying to motivate his players before a big game.
And a week after changing the team’s travel sweat, getting Popeye’s before their flight and swapping out red Gatorade for green, he was at it again.
This time, though, he’s using the logo of New Orleans’ next opponent to speak for him.
The Seahawks’ emblem is now emblazoned at midfield on all three of New Orleans’ practice fields, including the one inside the indoor facility.
It’s official, too, down to the colors (action green, college navy, wolf grey).
“We’re just trying to create the exact environment,” Payton said. “The crowd noise, field, everything, as best we can.”
The logo isn’t the only thing. The Saints practiced outside in Tuesday’s chilly, windy weather and used a crowd noise machine – called “The 12th Man” – to prepare the team for Saturday’s atmosphere.
For quarterback Drew Brees, though, the logo is just one more thing to get the players’ minds on the task at hand.
“Just knowing that you’re going to see a lot of those colors when you step into the stadium, you prepare your best to play your best here on the practice field and hopefully that carries over,” Brees said.
“Once we get there we’re familiar with everything that’s going on,” inside linebacker Curtis Lofton added. “That’s how I took. Be in the moment because this moment doesn’t come around too often.”
Or maybe there’s a different meaning, one Payton hopes most players see.
For outside linebacker/defensive end Junior Galette, it’s a reminder of the Dec. 2 game in which New Orleans was manhandled by Seattle.
“If we’ve got to put the logo on here to kind of remind us daily that’s who we’re up against and kind of remind you that pain we felt, this is what it’s going to take, this is going to work,” Galette said.
In other words, Payton might be onto something.
Former Saints defensive end Bobby McCray tweeted about the idea Tuesday, writing, “I’d be pissed… So therefore Brilliant idea by @SeanPayton #WhoDat.”