METAIRIE, La. -- From bringing in inspirational guest speakers to dancing to the song that bears his name, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton knows how to find unique ways to motivate his players.
Payton, though, might have topped himself Monday when he brought the Lombardi Trophy, more than $200,000 in cash and a Super Bowl ring for display during a players meeting. The Saints head coach then told his players that if they want it, all they had to do was to win three more games.
Those consecutive victories, of course, would result in a Super Bowl championship and the money served as a reminder of the financial bonus each player would receive should the Saints win out.
Consider the message received loud and clear.
"If that don't get you amped up, I don't know what will," Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins told NFL.com on Wednesday. "We're talking about the trophy and if you saw all that money, you'd get excited, too."
Running back Mark Ingram echoed his defensive teammate when talking about the display with a large group of reporters at his locker.
"I want it to come to my house -- Lombardi, the glass box of cash, my ring, all that," Ingram said. "I don't want no direct deposits from this playoff. I want all my cash when we done at the end, I want my cash coming to the crib looking just like they had it the other day. So, yeah, it was nice."
While the Saints have extra incentive to earn the prize and the right to be called champion, there are business matters to deal with Sunday.
The road to the Super Bowl comes through New Orleans, but the Saints must first defeat a hot Philadelphia Eagles team before hosting the NFC Championship Game to get to Atlanta.