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Falcons players call Edwards’ release a “wakeup call”

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith looks on as his team takes on the New Orleans Saints during their NFL football game in New Orleans, Louisiana Reuters

When the Falcons released defensive end Ray Edwards, they made it clear that it was a decision made because Edwards’ diminished play no longer warranted a spot on the team’s roster.

They didn’t say anything about also wanting to send a message to the rest of the team that neither your name nor your salary guarantee you anything in Atlanta, but it doesn’t seem like they needed to be explicit on that front. The Associated Press spoke to several Falcons players who said Edwards’ departure was a reminder that they were constantly being judged by the coaching staff and front office.

“It’s a wakeup call,” safety Thomas DeCoud said. “The message has been received.”

“It’s scary,” guard Peter Konz said. “It makes you think. But if you do the right things, get the job done on the field, you don’t have to be too worried about it.”

“That’s the way this game goes. You can be replaced,” cornerback Dunta Robinson said. “Ray was a great friend of mine. I hate to see him go. But it’s a business. Things like this are going to happen when it’s a business.”

There were more along the same lines. The fact that the Falcons ate money this year and next to get Edwards off the roster does a good job of selling the notion that you will either produce or be replaced, something the players clearly understand.

Atlanta obviously would like to avoid making personnel mistakes like they made with Edwards, but there are worse outcomes from such a mistake than a case study in why the rest of the players should do everything in their power to keep their production from slipping.

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11 Responses to “Falcons players call Edwards’ release a “wakeup call””
  1. supremekingz says: Nov 15, 2012 9:15 AM

    I hate to see anyone lose their job, but in this case it was definitely warranted. It goes to show how the leadership in the Falcons organization has chanegd from years past. They no longer celebrate greatness, they expect it and demand it.

    Sometimes winning can mask weaknesses on a team, but the Falcons did a good job of not letting the wins cloud their vision of strengths and weaknesses. Other teams should do the same

    *caugh* Bills

  2. sb44champs says: Nov 15, 2012 9:32 AM

    It’s not going to work… Of course, this move will probably backfire just like their last few seasons!!

  3. burnttoast71854 says: Nov 15, 2012 9:40 AM

    What’s amazing is the coach & GM wanted this guy, maybe they should be fined by Roger & suspended for imitating Jerrah Jones. That’s something he usually does pay way to much for a below average player. Still can’t believe they thought he was worth that kind of money someone in the front office should be held accountable for that. I thought they watched the eye in the sky as they say, was it all games played in the rain & it was fogged up? But no worries their the falcons & will be landing soon, if not wait for the playoffs & their done.

  4. airstreamtex says: Nov 15, 2012 9:44 AM

    As a Vikings fan i was glad we let Edwards go…he wanted big money because of one good game – other than that he was average at best. good luck to him, but props to Spielman for not dumping cash to keep him.

  5. really2011 says: Nov 15, 2012 9:54 AM

    As much as it pains me to say this (Saints fans) – the Falcons are a very good team and letting Ray Edwards go was a good move (barring injury to other DE’s).

    The Falcons are still one of the best in a suddenly inconsistent NFC, along with the Bears, 49ers and maybe the Giants.

  6. hartcarluncarlun says: Nov 15, 2012 10:18 AM

    Pure sign of a good team and front office!!!!!
    Produce or get cut, doesn’t matter who you are.

  7. CKL says: Nov 15, 2012 10:19 AM

    I think Smith is a good coach. You don’t have a record of 43-0 with a 6 pt (I think ) lead in the 4th Q without being a good coach. He’s kind of in the Kubiak category…good but not elite…yet. I think they will both be considered top 5 coaches very soon.

    It was a good move for many reasons but one of the big ones was the timing of it. The best coaches are teachers…AND psychologists.

  8. lucky5936 says: Nov 15, 2012 10:26 AM

    Guess someone had to take the fall for the loss.

  9. ninthwardfriend says: Nov 15, 2012 10:35 AM

    That’s not good for any club to have players scared to make mistakes or go thru slumps. That’s the nature of sports.

  10. deadeye says: Nov 15, 2012 10:59 AM

    Why wasn’t losing to the Saints the wake up call?

  11. purpleguy says: Nov 15, 2012 11:19 AM

    I’ll bet it wasn’t just a performance in comparison to pay issue — Edwards can be an unpleasant dude internally.

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