METAIRIE, La. -- NFL coaches are as guarded as anyone about giving away trade secrets, but New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton openly talked about changing his approach to playing on the road, something that could use some serious reworking.
So the secret is out. The Saints will be changing their Gatorade color.
There will be other changes, Payton said, when the Saints (11-5) visit the Eagles (10-6) Saturday night in a wild-card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field.
First, the Gatorade.
"Seriously, the red Gatorade we have been drinking and the orange obviously isn't doing it and we are going to switch to green," Payton said during a conference call with reporters Monday at the Saints' practice facility. "The night before, what we eat, I think, will be changed up and how we dress will be different and those are things that I think are important."
Payton took a lighthearted approach to a serious problem for the Saints. New Orleans was 8-0 at home and 3-5 on the road this season, but it goes even further. The Saints have never won a road playoff game in franchise history, going 0-5. Payton is 0-3.
Payton is 4-0 at home with the Saints in the postseason. He also won the franchise's only Super Bowl, naturally on a neutral field.
No detail will be overlooked heading into Saturday's road game, said Payton, who owns a 73-39 regular-season record and 5-3 postseason mark.
Payton is 40-16 in the regular season at home and 33-23 on the road, so the Saints have proved in the past that they can win away from the Superdome.
The Saints players are growing tired of talking about their road difficulties, but the fact remains that they have been much more effective in the climate-controlled Superdome.
According to Weather.com, the temperature at the Linc on Saturday is expected to drop to 23 degrees at game time.
Running back Pierre Thomas, the Saints' leading rusher with 549 yards, scoffed at the suggestion that his team's play turns cold in chilly weather.
"I am not worried about the cold -- I am from Chicago, man," Thomas said. "I have been in colder situations than that, 20 degrees. I have played in more games below zero."
Of course, Payton and the Saints will have to deal with much more than the cold. Controlling Chip Kelly's high-profile offense is no small task.
As an offensive guru, Payton said he is impressed with what he has seen from the Eagles when they have the ball.
"There is a lot of variety and you have to defend the whole field," he said. "They can attack down the field, they have outstanding weapons at receiver, a fantastic running back (LeSean McCoy), the tight end (Brent) Celek is exceptional, and you see the quarterback (Nick Foles) operating with great poise. So they make you defend the whole field."
He said the most impressive aspect about Kelly's offense is that it is so unpredictable.
"They do a great job with misdirection and a great job creating those running lanes and really keeping you off-balance defensively," he said.
Payton added that the defense has come along, making the Eagles a well-rounded team.
"Clearly the last half of the season they are playing outstanding football," he said.
And he knows deep down that it will take more than changing the pregame drink to reverse the franchise's postseason road woes.
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