Sean Payton's motivational speech to high school alma mater featured in new Kenny Chesney video

Aug 13, 2010

Sean Payton's motivational speech to high school alma mater featured in new Kenny Chesney video


Brian Smith -


Tom Landry. Vince Lombardi. Sean Payton?


The head coach of the Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints doesn’t appear to be a master motivator on the surface. He has a quiet but confident demeanor, never calling players out in public or going on expletive-laced rants. But for the players who see him in the locker room, Payton has a certain bravado and motivational style that without a doubt works.


Payton is finally giving the public a glimpse of that ability by lending his talents to country singer Kenny Chesney’s latest music video. In Chesney’s video for his new single, “The Boys of Fall,” Payton is seen delivering an impassioned speech to his high school alma mater, Naperville Central in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.


The Saints’ coach’s speech seemed to have a profound impact on the players from the look of the video, but to start the game, Payton’s alma mater fell flat on its face. Naperville Central trailed rival high school Neuqua Valley 17-0 at halftime. But in very Saints-like fashion, Naperville rallied and ended up winning the game 21-17.


Although he is universally recognized as a brilliant offensive mind, Payton was rarely brought up in the discussion of elite NFL head coaches until the end of this past season. Now, he’s the toast of the league. The Sporting News named the Saints coach as the second best head man in the league, only trailing three-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. Even the top-ranked head coach said that Payton deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done in the Big Easy.


"Sean is a sharp guy," said Belichick, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "He's got a lot of great ideas. He's innovative. He's creative. He certainly has a strong philosophy, but I wouldn't say he's so set in his ways that he wouldn't change anything. He's experimented with some different things, and it's good to exchange ideas like that."


Payton’s experiments certainly paid off last season, when his team finished the season ranked first in total offense, scoring over 500 points. New Orleans started the season a perfect 13-0 before losing to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17 at home on December 19. The Saints would end the regular season with three straight losses, but rallied in the playoffs and steamrolled through the Colts for a 31-17 victory in Super Bowl XLIV.


Despite his reputation as a bit of a reluctant speaker in public, Payton has used dozens of motivational techniques to fire up his team. Before his Saints played the Patriots in week 13 of last season, Payton did an imitation of Belichick in front of the entire team. Apparently it worked, as New Orleans blasted New England 38-17 in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.


As long as it continues to work, Payton will keep using his behind-the-scenes techniques to motivate his team. And who would advise him against it? After all, it’s hard to argue with a guy who’s sporting a Super Bowl championship ring.