An NFL coach is charged with, among other things, providing a winning message to his team in the days leading up to a game. And so everything Sean Payton has told his New Orleans Saints about playing at CenturyLink Field suggests it is a special place, one requiring unique measures and a singular performance from a visiting team to win.

Conventional wisdom more typically drives coaches to emphasize the homogeneity of a road game. It's still football. Execution wins. Play our game.

So what should we make of the way Payton handled the run-up to the Saints' Week 13 matchup at the Seattle Seahawks, a 34-7 disaster, along with his shenanigans this week leading to Saturday's divisional playoff game? Are the Seahawks in the heads of Payton and his players? Or is he admirably searching for ways to even out what might be a mismatch on paper?

Generally speaking, I'm a fan of a classic Payton coaching pillar. It goes like this, as ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett relayed it recently: To do something you've never done before, you have to do something you've never done before. I've also heard it put another way: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. And as long as we're flipping through coaching mantras, we'll add Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The fact is the Saints had middling success on the road in the regular season, losing five of eight games while averaging about half the amount of points as they scored at home and suffering a 14-point swing in their turnover ratio. Assuming the same methods would lead to different results can be found deep within NFL coaching stubbornness, but Payton thought otherwise.