Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- They sound like idle words, even for a team with the NFL's best record.
Everyone is being evaluated on a weekly basis. No one's job is safe. If someone isn't performing up to expectations, they can be replaced.
Well, the Atlanta Falcons weren't kidding.
The Falcons, who suffered their first loss last week but are still cruising at 8-1, made a bold move this week when they dumped defensive end Ray Edwards. He signed a big-money deal just last year but had done little to justify his contract.
While it might have been convenient to let Edwards languish on the bench, coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff went in a different direction. For everyone else, it was a wakeup call - don't get complacent.