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Few Saints know about Super Bowl experience

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Few Saints know about Super Bowl experience By LES EAST Special to The Advocate METAIRIE — The Saints don’t have a whole lot of players with Super Bowl experience, but they didn’t have any experience in going 13-0, earning the ...

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Old 01-31-2010, 09:13 PM   #1
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Few Saints know about Super Bowl experience

Few Saints know about Super Bowl experience
By LES EAST
Special to The Advocate

METAIRIE — The Saints don’t have a whole lot of players with Super Bowl experience, but they didn’t have any experience in going 13-0, earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC or hosting and winning the NFC championship before doing each this season.

So, they’re familiar with conquering uncharted territory, but preparing to play the Indianapolis Colts, who won the Super Bowl three years ago, in Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 in Miami, is a different deal.

“I think it helps to have the experience,” said Saints coach Sean Payton, who was the Giants offensive coordinator when New York lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl after the 2000 season. “Indianapolis having played not too long ago in this game at Miami at the same practice facility, same hotel — there’s probably a lot similarities in their routine or schedule, and which for us this will all be new.

“There are a handful of guys on this team that have this experience of having played in a Super Bowl and a number of guys, certainly the majority of guys, have not. And (it’s) no different than they had not played in an NFC Championship game.”

Only four players on New Orleans’ active roster have played in a Super Bowl — safety Darren Sharper (Green Bay), cornerback Randall Gay and fullback Kyle Eckel (New England) and long snapper Jason Kyle (Carolina).

Additionally, tight ends Jeremy Shockey (Giants) and David Thomas (Patriots) were on injured reserve during their teams’ Super Bowl experience, and fullback Heath Evans, on injured reserve for the Saints, played for the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago.

Evans said several players have already sought out his advice on what to expect in Miami.

“They just want to know, hey, what do we have to do to win?” Evans said. “Sean’s really done a great job of preparing these guys for the circus that we’re about to embark on. It’s crazy. There’s just hoopla with everything.

“You’re dealing with 15 tickets and you’re trying to make 75 people happy. Those are the main concerns. You’re really just trying to keep your emotional tank full.”

Evans said one of the keys is to take care of as many distractions as you can before leaving.

“If you get the ticket requests done (and) you get all the different rites of Super Bowl week done before you get to Miami, it just makes things simple,” he said. “Then, you can kind of get on a normal week routine. You need to be totally focused on the task at hand.”

Evans said the Colts definitely have an advantage because of their experience, but it’s certainly not something New Orleans can’t overcome.

“We’ve got to find ways to beat them in every other area,” he said. “They’ve obviously got the experience and we don’t. I don’t think the experience actually wins the game for you, but it helps.”

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