Falcons coach & players react to the message sent by Edwards release

The Atlanta Falcons may be 8-1 but they have two issues to resolve as they make their championship run.

They must generate better play from their defensive line and they must run the ball with more force and consistency.

This week the team took a step towards correcting a mistake when they released defensive end Ray Edwards.

Edwards’ spot in the lineup had been noticeably filled by his previous backup Kroy Biermann without much explanation and now we know what the team was thinking.

Coach Mike Smith spoke with the Atlanta Journal Constitution in regards to the matter.

“It was a decision that we made that we felt like was going to make our football team better today and in the future,” Smith said. “That’s what you have to do when you make decisions. You’ve got to make decisions for your football team.”

“I don’t want to get into sending messages and what not,” Smith said. “We evaluate every day. We evaluate after every game from top to bottom. We talk about it all the time and it starts with me. Again, it was a decision we made, and we felt like it makes our team better today and it will make our team better in the future.”

The key term that Smith used in that statement was sending messages. He may say that this is not the deal but there are players on the roster that feel that as if Edwards’ release was intended to keep everyone on their toes.

“It’s scary,” rookie offensive lineman Peter Konz told NFL.Com.  “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.

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

You never know what is going on in a building or a locker room to mandate such changes.

From a strategic position it makes sense to have held on to Edwards for depth even if he no longer received significant snaps.

This is especially true seeing that the Falcons are still on the hook for the remaining $3 million that they owe him seeing that he cleared waivers.