Brian Allee-Walsh

A few words of inspiration for the underdog New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints tight end Josh Hill is brought down by Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Bynes (57) and defensive end Kerry Hyder on Dec. 4 in the Superdome. Hill broke his fibula on the play and will miss the final four games of the season. The Saints placed Hill on injured reserve Friday.
New Orleans Saints tight end Josh Hill is brought down by Detroit Lions linebacker Josh Bynes (57) and defensive end Kerry Hyder on Dec. 4 in the Superdome. Hill broke his fibula on the play and will miss the final four games of the season. The Saints placed Hill on injured reserve Friday. AP

There really is nothing left to say.

The New Orleans Saints (5-7) know what they have to do Sunday at Raymond James Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFC South co-leaders at 7-5.

Simply, each player needs to do his job, earn his paycheck, play with pride and bring home the bacon, eggs, side order of hashed browns, English muffin and glass of OJ. Sorry, I’m hungry.

Now, get out there and play Saints football!

On second thought, maybe that’s not a good idea. Unless we’re talking about Week 12 when they shredded the defenseless Los Angeles Rams 49-21. Who Dat Nation certainly doesn’t need a repeat of last week’s forgettable and uninspiring 28-13 loss to the Detroit Lions.

I would assume by now Saints coach Sean Payton has used up most of his tried-and-true motivational messages, catch phrases and words of wisdom to inspire this year’s team and get them over the proverbial hump, hurdle and hindrance.

But just in case, I’ll lend Payton a few of my own tired and worn-out sports cliches that I use from time to time — as you probably know by now.

Consider:

  • Just win, baby!
  • Win one for (insert name)!
  • Us against the world.
  • Take care of business.
  • Fight to the finish.
  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
  • Now or never.
  • Tough times never last. Tough people do!
  • Play like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Leave it all out on the field.
  • Take no prisoners.
  • Show up.
  • Backs are against the wall.
  • It ain’t over til we say it’s over, etc., etc.

OK, OK, enough already.

Before I present my best words of inspiration to Payton and the Black and Gold, chew on these game-related nuggets.

The Saints are 7-3 at Tampa during Payton’s watch, including four consecutive wins. They even won 35-28 on the Left Coast of Florida in 2012 with Aaron Kromer as the team’s interim coach when Payton had to serve a season-long suspension for his alleged role in Bounty Gate.

The Bucs have won four consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 8-11 in 2012. But did you know they are 2-4 at home this season and 11-27 overall since the beginning of 2012, including 0-8 in 2014?

In other words, the Bucs do stop there.

The most motivational words I could say to the Saints before Sunday’s game is simply the truth:

All the pressure is on Tampa Bay.

Can’t change the past but can affect the future.

Make today count.

Who Dat on three!

Brian Allee-Walsh is a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans. He can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.

Game plan

Who: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

TV: Fox

Radio: 105.3-FM, 870-AM

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