NFL coaches can be sticklers for details, and that includes obsessively trying to mimic road conditions when preparing at home in practice.
Weather, field surface, uniforms, equipment, noise ... and even logo designs.
Yep, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has gone so far as to paint the Seattle Seahawks' logo at midfield on the Saints practice field this week in advance of Saturday's divisional round rematch. The last times the teams met, it wasn't pretty: The Seahawks trounced them, 34-7.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 7, 2014
Last week, Payton switched up his team's diet and Gatorade flavor to prepare the Saints for playing on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. Something worked, as the Saints won 26-24.
Is painting a blue and white bird on a field going to make a difference in how the game is played out? Well, no. But there won't be any surprises going in. The Saints experienced the 12th Man environment in that loss, and they are having to practice with another team's logo on their field. That has to sting a little.
Now, how is Payton simulating that threshold-of-pain noise his team will face Saturday? He wasn't giving any answers — maybe he's having airplanes land on the adjacent field? — but made a pretty good analogy to just how loud it can be at Seattle's CenturyLink Field when the fans get revved up.
Sean Payton says noise at CLink is like August heat in New Orleans ... you know it's as hot as it can be and we dont want to know how much — Dave Boling (@DaveBoling) January 7, 2014
Speaking from experience, both can be quite oppressive.
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