Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton keeps a reminder in his locker.
Well, actually two of them.
One is a bottle of wine sent to him from Saints defensive end Cam Jordan.
The other is a broom that he said was sent to him as well after the Saints swept the Panthers in three games last season: twice in the regular season and a third time in the playoffs when the Saints brought out a broom in their postgame locker room celebration.
Cam Netwon is still upset about the way last season played out.
That postgame celebration went viral as Saints coach Sean Payton danced, the inspiration for the "Hit the Sean Payton" song that New Orleans musician Shamarr Allen came up with two days later.
So the Saints (11-2) know they will be going up against a team that hasn't forgotten what happened last season when they play the Panthers (6-7) on Monday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"We know we are walking into hostile environment and to a team that has a chip on its shoulder and mad about what happened last year," Saints defensive lineman Tyeler Davison said. "With that being said, we are going to take that into account in how we prepare and come into the game."
Saints safety Kurt Coleman played the previous three seasons with the Panthers and knows what it was like being on the losing side of three games a year ago. He also knows that former team will likely use every motivational ploy they can to make sure the Panthers don't forget about last season.
Brooms. Videos of the locker room celebration. You name it.
"The revenge factor will be there for them," Coleman said. "It wasn't fun last year. We saw the brooms. So I'm sure all of that is going to be used by them. I don't believe anything is going to left out. But at the end of the day, you still have to show up and execute."
The Saints have done that for most of the season, a big reason they are the No. 1 seed in the NFC and in control of their playoff travel plans. If the Saints win their final three games (they host the Steelers and the Panthers to close out the season), they will never have to leave the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the playoffs.
"We recognize it and that's why there is a great sense of urgency and it's great to be in a position where you control your own destiny," quarterback Drew Brees said. "We don't need to be scoreboard watching, right? We focus on our stuff and all of it takes care of itself.”
The Panthers, meanwhile, are just trying to stay in the playoff hunt after starting the season 6-2 and then dropping their past five games.
Saints linebacker A.J. Klein spent his first four seasons playing for the Panthers, so he knows how they can be when their backs are against the wall. Carolina started 3-8-1 that season and then reeled off four straight wins to make the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, Week 15
"That year in that locker room the mindset was 'never count us out' because we are going to play hard regardless,'" Klein said. "I'm pretty sure (Panthers coach) Ron Rivera and that coaching still feels the exact same way. They compete and play hard. They are still very explosive and very talented. They are not going to give up. We are going to have our hands full, and we just have to take care of what we have to take care of. Hopefully, at the end of 60 minutes or more, we have done enough to win the game."
Coleman, like Klein, knows it won't be easy against his former team.
"They have great leaders, and it's about scratching and clawing," Coleman said. "Their backs are against the walls. There is no more next week. So we know we are going to get their best shot. When you factor in what happened last year, 0-3 against the Saints, they are going to leave it all out there."
But the Saints, looking to get their fourth consecutive victory against Carolina, are ready for an inspired team.
Safety Vonn Bell, whose sack on Newton in the playoffs sealed the win, said the Saints are ready.
"It's still in the back of their heads," Bell said. "They are going to come out full of energy, full of juice. So we will have to come out the same way. Full of energy, full of juice."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ron Rivera is clinging to the slim hope the Panthers can rebound from a five-game losing streak, beat the Saints twice …