New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has called on his team-mates to move on after coach Sean Payton shook things up by releasing kicker Garett Hartley and offensive linesman Charles Brown this week.
Payton took the decision in the aftermath of the Saints humbling defeat against the St. Louis Rams last weekend.
The Saints fell to a 27-16 defeat in Missouri, with Hartley paying the price for two missed kicks in that game, plus missing four out of six earlier on the season. His field goal percentage, which stands at just over 73%, is one of the lowest in the NFL.
The 28-year-old has played alongside Brees ever since heading to New Orleans in 2008 - but the veteran QB had little room for sentiment in the aftermath of Payton's decision to shake up the roster.
"Sean [Payton's] No. 1 goal for this team is to continue to help us improve and find ways where we can improve," he told ESPN.
"Whether that means a change in schedule or a change in personnel or a slight change in scheme or whatever it might may be, he's going to do it," Brees said. "We all understand that.
"We also understand we've got to come out every week and prove it to ourselves, prove it to him that we belong and we can help this team win. There's always a sense of urgency, and we are all always on the hot seat. We've got to perform.
"That could be any one of us if we're not getting the job done. Decisions like that are made and you've got to live with it and move on."
Punter Thomas Morstead, a long-time friend of Hartley, admitted he was sad to see him go, but agreed with Brees that it was just the nature of the game.
"It's the NFL, man," he said. "You know, I guess it's part of what makes it special. It's precious, and you could be fired as quick as that. … It's another reminder."
The Saints go up against the Carolina Panthers in winners-takes-all NFC South showdown on Sunday.
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