In a rather surprise move, the Atlanta Falcons suddenly named Steve Sarkisian new offensive coordinator. It’s a shocker, because Sarkisian who is coming from Alabama, spent exactly one game as offensive coordinator with the Crimson Tide.
Alabama also gave no indicator that Sarkisian was even considering leaving or being moved, in the first place. This move seemed to come out nowhere, according to ESPN.
Sarkisian was brought in to replace Kyle Shanahan who left Atlanta to become head coach with the San Francisco 49ers.
Head Coach Dan Quinn is taking the move in stride, just commenting that he felt Sarkisian’s approach was a good fit for the Flacons.
“As a play caller I felt like, No. 1, what an aggressive play caller he’s been through the years,” Quinn remarked. “He has a real familiarity, from the wide zone scheme, the play action, the keepers — that’s such a big part of what we do.”
They’ll be little argument about that, as the Falcons seem to know just how to bring on success. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was named MVP along with Offensive Player of the Year and their aggressive offense attack was ranked top in the league, which helped lead them to Super Bowl 51.
He has some history with head coach Pete Carrol, dating back to his time at USC. Carrol was head coach there while Sarkisian worked under him. He’s also got some working background with acclaimed college coach Nick Saban at Alabama.
Sarkisian served as an Offensive analyst during the 2016 season and was later promoted to offensive coordinator for the National Championship. That filled the void after the departure of Lane Kiffin.
That experience of working under two respected coaches really helped influence the decision of Quinn in hiring Sarkisan.
“Two of the guys I respect most in our profession are Pete and Nick, and being a part of both of their programs, I know what he stands for as a coach,” Quinn stated.
When Sarkisian spent his one year coaching in the NFL as the quarterback’s coach with the Oakland Raiders back in 2004, he also worked under Coach Norv Turner. It was there that he took a more consistent approach as an offensive philosophy.
That’s what really attracted the Falcons to him, as they’re not planning any aggressive or major changes, as they’ve found a formula that works and leads straight to the Super Bowl.
“One hundred percent, and that’s the style we’re going to feature moving forward,” Quinn described the Falcons winning strategy . “We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place.”
Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff is pretty satisfied with the pick and remarked that Sarkisian is just the caliber of candidate the team was looking for.
“Steve’s a very smart, very creative and very aggressive football coach and play caller, and that plays into line with what we’re looking for here as an organization,” Dimitroff said of Sarkisian.