Walking into an NFL locker room for the first time is simply intoxicating. Certainly, for any player, media member, or infrequent visitor. There’s a sense that between these most sacred walls, inspiring speeches have happened there. Tears have fallen good and bad. The locker room is the culmination of sweat and hard work. And sometimes, good things happens and sometimes bad things. Surely, anyone can YouTube some of the wild moments that can happen without warning. Regardless, walking into that room is special. Not many people get a chance to even sneak a peek.
The Locker Room for the Saints is Like no Other
One Common Goal for Every Player
That being said, there is one thing that stood out in the last couple of years covering this team. After doing several interviews from players from every position and every age from 21 to 40, there is one mantra that stood out since day one.
Every single player has their own little house per say. And there’s no way to explain how each player decorates their home. There are a million different personalities. Also, there are some players that automatically draw a crowd, and others during training camp you forget what their name was.
Actually, remembering names and faces are no easy task. About a decade ago, I tried my hand at teaching, and one of the hardest challenges was remembering names. Be that as it may, every single player has this amazing hypnotic unwavering belief of focusing. It’s almost like this team is ONE marathon runner running a marathon from start to finish.
Every single player is a part of that runner. There is the shoes that cover and protect the runners feet and cushion it blow by blow in every single step. The eyes and ears that give the runner’s vision of what lies ahead. There’s the inner hunger that is the gauge, which alarms the brain to re-hydrate. All these forces are working together simultaneously for one common goal.
Hitting the Finish Line
Every coach is striving to win the marathon of a 16-game season and then move into the postseason. Perhaps, the ultimate achievement for a runner would be to win a gold medal in the Olympics. There lies the goal. Every athlete wants to be the best in the world at the craft that they choose.
In a nutshell, Sean Payton is the guru of motivation and getting the most out of his players. Many coaches have to manufacture buzzwords or produce synthetic chemistry. Everything is genuine in the black and gold sanctuary. It’s all natural ingredients that make this 2019 team special. From the song and dance to the sense of urgency when needed.
The players know that the Payton demands the respect he gives them. Payton always takes the blame for losses and states “We all have to better including me and the coaching staff.” This occurs nearly every time the New Orleans Saints lose a game. Payton not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Players can see through a coach that has ulterior motives. But Payton is the real deal.
Payton Walks the Walk
Nevertheless, there is no replacement for a leader that HAS YOUR OWN BACK. This is not something new or ingenious. However, there is no faking the real karma of taking care of your players and demanding the same in return.
Most locker rooms would’ve caved after last years start of 0-2 after three 7-9 seasons. Even this year, when it looked as if the Saints would start 0-2 again, the players stuck together. You can’t just create a fictional motivation or made up reasons to work hard.
This locker room was built to stand the test of time. And there is good reason to believe that there is no place like dome. This 2019 team is built and ready for unexpected challenges. This will serve them well going into the postseason.
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