Atlanta Falcons missed out on Steve Sarkisian in big way
The Atlanta Falcons have made a few questionable decisions, but the firing of Steve Sarkisian is proving to look like an even bigger whiff.
Now, at the time, it was a move that basically everyone said needed to be done.
We saw analysts and fans alike come together when the Falcons made sweeping changes- firing their offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator all at once- following the 2018 season when the team finished with a disappointing 7-9 record.
There was talent all over the field- led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones– and it wasn’t that long ago that the Falcons were competing in a Super Bowl with Kyle Shanahan calling plays, but under Sarkisian things never seemed to click just right.
The more we look at the time Sarkisian spent at Alabama, the more we’re beginning to think that was a major whiff by the Atlanta Falcons
Sarkisian coached at Alabama for two seasons- 2019 and 2020- and the Crimson Tide had one of the most explosive offenses both years. That was especially true this past season where they finished first in the nation in total offense.
Now, you might say that has to do with the overwhelming talent all over the field and we would agree. That being said, Alabama has always had plenty of talent. The difference was the way Sarkisian activated that talent.
Think about this for a second: In Shanahan’s last year, the Atlanta Falcons were No. 4 in the NFL in Football Outsider’s DVOA offensive efficiency ratings.
In the two years under Sarkisian (with unfortunate injuries, especially on the offensive line by the way): They were No. 9 (2017) and No. 8 (2018).
Do you know where the Falcons have ranked in the past two seasons? No. 15 in 2019 and No. 21 in 2020.
There may have been a drop from Shanahan to Sarkisian, but there has been an even bigger drop from Sarkisian to Dirk Koetter.
Though it’s easy to blame coordinators for the mess that was made with the Falcons over this past half-decade, perhaps the answer comes from a little higher up the food chain. Dan Quinn led the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance and he had success, but it looks more and more likely that it wasn’t necessarily his coordinators who caused the team to fall so quickly but rather himself and his own coaching & developing miscues.
We don’t know if Sarkisian would’ve continued to develop and had this offense clicking after another year, but it certainly doesn’t feel great knowing the Falcons let him walk just to see him have enormous success the minute he walked out of Atlanta.