Saints know noise at CenturyLink Field is unlike anywhere else

Saints know noise at CenturyLink Field is unlike anywhere else

Fans cheer during player introductions prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on September 15, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on November 28, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 28 at 6:24 PM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

METAIRIE, La. — Jahri Evans understands loud.

Eight weeks a year, he gets to stand on the sideline and watch as opponents try to get their offenses going in the noise cavern better known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

But Monday night, when the Saints (9-2) travel to Seattle for a pivotal NFC game against the Seahawks (10-1), he’ll be on the other side of the equation.

Not that it’ll be the first time; he has played there two times, including in January 2011 in the NFC wild card round of the playoffs, a game the Saints lost 41-36.

“They have that 12th man flag for a reason,” Evans said. “It’s definitely loud up there. I remember it all too well. … It did affect, especially the guys on the outside, a little more. Hopefully this year will be a different story.”

Just how loud is CenturyLink Field?

Earlier this year, in a Sept. 15 29-3 win over San Francisco, those in the venue set the Guinness World Record for loudest cheer at an open-air sports stadium, reaching an ear-splitting 136.6 decibels.

A month later, Kansas City set the record at 137.5. Monday night, Seattle will reportedly try to set the record again.

Regardless, the Saints worked with a crowd noise machine earlier in the week, trying to prepare the offense for an environment that will make communication and audibles nearly impossible.

“Getting the crowd noise work done is critical as well because the communication and the ability to focus with all those other things going on is where you are challenged,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said.

It’s not necessarily a problem for everyone, however.

Receiver Lance Moore said that nothing changes for him once he leaves the huddle, adding that looking in at the football for the snap is something wideouts learn early.

“To be honest with you, I feel like everybody else makes a big deal about the crowd noise and the players don’t seem to mind because it’s not like it’s the first time we’ve ever played in a loud venue,” Moore said. “When you’re out there and you’re playing and you’re running around, you don’t even hear the crowd anyway.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, meanwhile, disagrees with Moore. He would know. He has won all 13 starts he has made at CenturyLink and sees on a near weekly basis the affect it has on opponents.

Penalties for false starts and delay of game are two good barometers of how crowd noise can affect the game.

The Superdome, often in the same conversation as CenturyLink, has been the scene of three false starts and two delays of game by opponents. In Seattle, meanwhile, there have been eight false starts and three delay of game penalties called on opponents.

“It is real,” Wilson said. “It is a real factor. Obviously, New Orleans is one of those other places that’s really loud like that, too. But there’s no place like home.”

And Seattle Coach Pete Carroll credits the crowd at CenturyLink for being the one constant in the Seahawks’ 13-game home win streak.

“I think our connection to our fans and the spirit of playing here is -- like you guys understand it as well -- is very unique and we’ve very fortunate to have it,” Carroll said. “It’s the combination and the chemistry that connects both the play on the field and the people in the stands that support us.”

Print
Email
|