FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- 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.
Coming off their first loss but still cruising at 8-1, the Falcons made a bold move this week when they dumped big-money defensive end Ray Edwards. In less than two seasons with the team, he had done little to justify a contract that included 11 million in guaranteed money, so the Falcons decided to go in a different direction.
The message to everyone else is clear -- don't get complacent.
"It's a wakeup call," safety Thomas DeCoud said Wednesday. "The message has been received."
While it might have been convenient to let Edwards languish on the bench, especially with the team playing so well, coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff decided it's never good to keep an underperforming pla...