Show ’em the money.
Oh, and while you're at it, show ’em the trophy, too.
So that's what Saints coach Sean Payton did.
The Philadelphia Eagles are headed to town again, but don't be fooled -- this is a much different team than the one the Saints blew out in November.
The Saints coach, known for his creative and often successful motivational tactics, pulled out another one to fire up his team Monday at the Saints training facility.
Flanked by four armed guards, Payton came into the team meeting room, wheeling in the Vince Lombardi Trophy the 2009 Saints won in Super Bowl XLIV, plus $201,000 in cash. The cash represents the bonus each player would earn if the Saints win the Super Bowl.
He told his players if they wanted it, to go win three more games.
The motivational tactic was first reported Wednesday via Twitter by New Orleans attorney Jon DeTrinis, then confirmed by players shortly afterward.
"We all know what’s at stake," Saints defensive end Alex Okafor said. "I think everybody in this locker room wants a Super Bowl. But there’s just seeing something in person that just adds a little bit more motivation and just seeing that Super Bowl trophy, seeing that cash. I mean, if you ain’t ready to play after that, then we don’t need you."
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The Saints start the first step of their postseason journey Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC divisional round.
Players receive $29,000 for winning the divisional round. They earn $54,000 for winning the NFC championship. And another $118,000 for winning the Super Bowl.
"(That's) just Sean trying to give everybody a vision — especially the young guys — as to what we are after and the opportunity we have, especially as the No. 1 seed," Drew Brees said. "Just that we control it. It all comes through this place if we work hard enough and we allow that."
If the Saints win Sunday, they will play again Jan. 20 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the winner of Saturday's playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys.
If they win the NFC Championship Game, they then head to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
Running back Mark Ingram said seeing the trophy and the money was even more motivation for a team that finished the season with the best record in the NFL.
"That trophy, that bread, all of that's on the line," Ingram said. "It's just another little way to get us going."
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It was the latest motivational tactic from Payton, known for coming up with unique ways to get his team going.
He has brought in actual mascots from college teams during the season of players' alma maters during the season. He's also known to dance with them in the locker room after victories.
So Payton's latest ploy didn't surprise his players.
"Sean always has something up his sleeve to get you excited and motivated and focused and locked in," Ingram said. "Everybody saw what we are working for. You're working for that trophy. And the extra funds, everybody will admire that. I think everybody is ready to go."
Players say it was just what the team needed to get going when they returned to work Monday after having a bye week during the first weekend of the playoffs.
"Like, ‘It’s legit now; we (are) in this thing now,’ ” Okafor said. "The first-round bye — we were at home watching games, so it’s kind of like we were chilling. We didn’t feel the edge like we needed to, just because we were at home. But now that we came this week and Sean popped it off like that. ‘OK. It’s time.’ ”
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