Thanks to their long Super Bowl run, the Atlanta Falcons did not have a whole lot of options for offensive coordinator. They knew they were losing Kyle Shanahan. In fact, the only two names from outside of the organization that popped up were Chip Kelly and Steve Sarkisian.
It was odd the Falcons did not seem to seriously consider promoting Matt LaFleur, the quarterback coach for Matt Ryan’s MVP season. He spent years with Shanahan running the offense, and honestly, was the most sensical replacement for Shanahan.
LaFleur may not be calling plays in Los Angeles, but is the offensive coordinator for another prolific offense.
Matt LaFleur was the Falcons QB Coach last year. He’s now the OC for the LA Rams. They average 31 points per game. Falcons average just 21.— David Schiele (@Deacon_Schiele) October 23, 2017
How did the Falcons let him get away? LaFleur was under contract with the team, and could not leave the Falcons for any position but a head coach job without the team’s blessing.
The team, of course, allowed the move. And now we know why.
It would be tough to bungle a situation worse than this. The Falcons happily let the offensive staff leave for other positions so they could hire Sarkisian, who never coordinated in the pros. It is tough to say what the team did not like about LaFleur, but I don’t think it could be worth the offensive drop off. The offense has imploded so quickly that you have to blame the decision makers, starting with Dan Quinn.