OK, now that we're less than a week from the season opener at Green Bay, the Saints are in lock-down game preparation mode.
Today is the day the roster must be cut down to 53 players, so we should be soon hearing news of the final cuts, if we haven't already, and Dave has already given the roster his last best guess.
As the last bit of the preseason has unfolded, with some surprising injury (Garrett "GAAAAAA!!!" Hartley), some spectacularly piss-poor tackling and questionable effort put forth by the defense, and the shuffling of the offensive line, I find myself not as confident as I once was in this team (especially after we won the all-important 2011 Draft/Offseason Championship).
That thought has been settling in for a while, and last night it really got me thinking...make the jump to sate your thirst for my inner cognitive workings on this matter.
I think it's going to take a little bit more than just showing up to the games to win them this year (I actually don't ever think the Saints can just show up and win, but this premise helps set up the next part, so just go with me, please.).
Sean Payton is known as a master motivator and a deep believer in psychological warfare (see the PSYOPS chapter of his book, Home Team). He posts Saints Core Beliefs in the locker room (see item one under "10 more observations" in the Duncan link). In 2006, he put out mouse traps to implore the team not to "eat the cheese" of the media beginning to talk of the Saints as a good team when they were playing well. Following the 2006 season, they buried all the trophies and accolades they received in a Jazz Funeral ceremony, and when things started so badly during the 2007 season (0-4, remember that?), Payton put a trailer full of music stands, chairs and instruments in a corner of the indoor practice field to symbolize the bandwagoners who had abandoned the team. Locker room t-shirt mottos during his time have included the phrases: "Earn It", "Our Time", and "Finish Strong". And who can forget the "bring the wood" bats of the 2009 Divisional playoff game? What about the parade of motivational speakers - featuring the likes of Avery Johnson, Jon Gruden, Ronnie Lott, etc. - that has rolled through the Saints locker room?
So what do you think has been going on or will go on in regard to the 2011 Saints and PSYOPS to give the Saints that extra edge to overcome the issues I listed above?
Let's have fun and get creative with this in the comment section.
What t-shirt slogans and/or "Core Beliefs" might be appropriate for the 2011 Saints? What motivational methods would you use to inspire this team to victory? Who would be good guest speakers?
I welcome all responses - the serious, the clever/snarky, the funny, and even the huddled masses. However you respond, feel free to also provide your rationale and commentary as well. You can also share any of your personal favorite motivational strategies used by Payton or any other coach/person.
Speaking of motivation, I'm going to send us out with a quote from Peter Gibbons in that classic film, Office Space:
That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.