When a team suffers a major fallout year over year, it affects a lot of things. Change becomes a centralized theme for an organization. On one hand, you can perform a complete makeover by dumping a lot of players and coaches. On the other hand, which is what the New Orleans Saints have done, is retooling and injecting a different perspective.
Humbleness has flooded the players and coaches from last season. The pure sense of entitlement felt by many entering the 2014 season ended up being one giant wake up call in the end.
Decisions were not made lightly during the offseason, as lessons were likely learned from cutting ties with so many key veteran elements that helped establish a strong foundation. However, the shock and awe was once again there for the Saints. Would you honestly have said that the team would move on from Kenny Stills, Curtis Lofton, and Jimmy Graham at the end of the year?
The New Orleans Saints have displayed a clear attitude adjustment heading into this season, and it’s evident during player interviews and on the field. A single display of a street sign at the New Orleans Saints practice facility in Metairie, LA simply labeled N Compete St. It may not seem like much to any outsiders looking in, but Sean Payton establishes his logic for introducing such a symbol to the team.
"“Think about how you played (basketball on the playground) when it was 10-10 going to 11 and winner stays,” Payton said. “It was going to be your guy that scored because you knew if you lost you weren’t going to play the rest of the day. There were five other teams waiting.“That would be an example of just the level of competition, creating that sense of urgency and that desire not to let your teammates down.”"
The attitude and mentality have been established from the very beginning for both old and new faces, and it only echoes what the franchise is looking to instill this season.
There’s no sense of entitlement. The team is being counted out. There’s already a distinct label associated with the Saints from last year suggesting that the team was and still is ‘soft’. Drew Brees, an obvious first ballot hall of fame candidate, is being labeled as on the decline. Some suggest that this is the end of the road for head coach Sean Payton. You get the picture.
The team’s indoor facility has replaced photos in their building to help inspire and motivate others. For example, Steve Gleason’s famous blocked punt is one of the many picture you’ll find as new additions. Gleason is the true definition of character and motivation, and still shows how competitive he is while battling ALS. The Saints have also added many Super Bowl pictures, as well as a giant Tom Benson banner hoisting the Lombardi trophy.
Will it all work? That’s the biggest question for the 2015 New Orleans Saints. However, having the right attitude is one of the many reasons that could find Sean Payton’s group in the postseason when it’s all said and done.
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