The Saints are dispatching with the fun and games ahead of Sunday’s playoff matchup against the Panthers.
All season long, New Orleans players have been able to unwind during their free time with a ping pong table, miniature basketball hoop and Nintendo 64 in the locker room. But now? Now they’re all gone. No more funny business.
“The coaches wanted a different level of focus, all the attention on what we got ahead of us,” offensive lineman Terron Armstead told The Times-Picayune. “The playoffs is a heightened sense of urgency for everybody.”
But are the Saints sure they want to mess with what got them here? They’re back in the playoffs after a three-year absence and just won their division for the first time since 2011. A November story in the Times-Picayune described the “palpable camaraderie” in the locker room, as evidenced by the players challenging each other to games of Super Smash Bros. on the N64 and shooting hoops. That laid-back approach was in place when they beat the Panthers twice earlier this year.