Sean Payton wants Saints' crowd to cheer at specific time to take away Rams' strategic edge

Sean McVay did something last season, his first as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, that was a loophole and rather brilliant.

NFL coaches can communicate with the quarterback through a speaker in the quarterback’s helmet until 15 seconds are left on the play clock. Then it shuts off. But by hurrying to the line, McVay could check out the defense and then tell quarterback Jared Goff what play will work against it. It was a completely legal strategic edge.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton can’t do anything about the Rams trying to call audibles through the quarterback’s helmet early in the play clock. But he had his own idea to make it harder in Sunday’s NFC championship game.

Sean Payton wants noise as soon as the previous play ends

Saints fans are smart, and loyal. They also make a ton of noise. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is one of the loudest venues in the NFL.

Payton had specific directions for the crowd: Make noise early in the play clock, to make it hard for the Rams to communicate plays in.

“What’s important for our fan base is understanding when that crowd noise needs to begin differently this week than normal weeks,” Payton said. “That crowd noise needs to begin prior to 15 seconds [on the play clock].”

McVay is a smart young coach. Payton is pretty smart himself.

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Updated Super Bowl LIII odds for 4 remaining teams
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Updated Super Bowl LIII odds for 4 remaining teams

4. Los Angeles Rams

Odds to win Super Bowl LIII: 7/2
Odds to win NFC Championship: +155

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

3. New England Patriots

Odds to win Super Bowl LIII: 13/4
Odds to win AFC Championship: +130

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Odds to win Super Bowl LIII: 11/4
Odds to win AFC Championship: -150

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1. New Orleans Saints

Odds to win Super Bowl LIII: 7/4
Odds to win NFC Championship: -175

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Saints fans could make a difference

Let’s go ahead and assume Saints fans are going to listen to Payton. One of the craziest scenes in recent NFL memory was the Superdome for the Saints’ NFC championship at the end of the 2009 season. The Saints fans were loud that game against the Vikings, and they’ll be loud against the Rams. The only challenge will be keeping it up at the right times for four quarters. Let’s also assume they’ll have the energy for that.

There’s a reason teams want home-field advantage through the playoffs. If the Saints crowd can cause even one big mistake for the Rams on an audible, or consistently bring slight disruptions to a strategic wrinkle the Rams like to do on offense, the fans have then affected the game for their team. What more can a home crowd want?

And if you’re going to the game on Sunday, bring some earplugs. The noise might not let up too often.

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The best photos of the NFL playoffs
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The best photos of the NFL playoffs
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 20: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints makes a 43-yard catch against Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees is sacked by Los Angeles Rams' Ndamukong Suh during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Los Angeles Rams players celebrate after overtime of the NFL football NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) spins in the air as he is tackled by New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with his teammates after the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) gestures as he runs past Indianapolis Colts safety Clayton Geathers (26) and linebacker Anthony Walker during the second half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) lies on the turf in front of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) after the Saints intercepted a pass in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The Saints won 20-14. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown as he is defended by Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Inside linebacker Cory Littleton #58 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles running back Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by J.J. Wilcox #37 and teammate Kenny Moore #23 of the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) pulls in a touchdown reception against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers loses the ball on the 1 yard line against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05: Eric Ebron #85 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass for a touchdown defended by Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Houston Texans in the first quarter during the Wild Card Round at NRG Stadium on January 5, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his first down near the goal line against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) tries to break free from Los Angeles Chargers free safety Derwin James in the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) leaps over Los Angeles Chargers defenders as he rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) flies for the goal line and makes a first down against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) reacts after missing a field goal in the closing minute during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. The Eagles won 16-15. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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