Sean Payton uses the ultimate carrot to get his team focused

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The Saints have a potential problem, and coach Sean Payton has the perfect solution.

As New Orleans prepares to face an Eagles team that the Saints shredded, 48-7, the Saints need to put that behind them. The best way to do that? Focus on what’s in front of them.

As first explained by New Orleans bankruptcy attorney John DeTrinis on Twitter — and which absolutely happened — coach Sean Payton had armed guards bring $225,000 and the Lombardi Trophy into a team meeting to illustrate what’s at stake.

“Y’all want this?” Payton said, causing the room to erupt. (If the Saints win the Super Bowl, each player will earn an extra $225,000.)

“I think just showing and trying to give everybody a vision, especially the young guys as to obviously what we’re after and the opportunity that we have, especially as the one seed,” quarterback Drew Brees told reporters on Wednesday, explaining the strategy. “Just knowing that we control it and it all comes through this place. If we work hard enough and we allow that, first things first. This game is the most important thing this season. I think we’ve taken that approach each and every game this year is making each game that game the most important game this season. When you do that you get to a playoff game and everyone talks about, ‘OK, well now it is the playoffs and is the preparation different?’ No. If we have been approaching it this way the whole time, then let’s just go play ball. It is another game. We always expect to play our best. We always expect to go out and execute to perfection. So let’s go do it.”

Payton did the same thing in 2009, and it worked. The Saints won at home against the Cardinals, at home against the Vikings, and in Miami against the Colts to win Super Bowl XLIV.