Yesterday, new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian spoke with the media on a conference call for the first time. The conversation was a far-ranging one, but I wanted to share some highlights courtesy of our ace beat reporter Jeanna Thomas.
Sark says he'll be hands-on with the quarterbacks but will hire a QBs coach.— Jeanna (@jeannathomas) February 9, 2017
This is one of two openings in the coaching staff remaining, unless you count assistant offensive line coach with Keith Carter moving up to running backs coach. We have no idea who Sarkisian is going to hire, but as long as it’s someone Matt Ryan is comfortable with, I’m good with it.
Sark says his relationship with Matt will be critical to their success and will be an emphasis this offseason.— Jeanna (@jeannathomas) February 9, 2017
I’ll be candid and say that I expect Matt Ryan to have more control of and input into the offense than he has ever had before, and I think that’s a good thing. Ryan has always had a bright mind and an excellent grasp of his offense—minus that 2015 season—and should be helpful to Sarkisian, who has never coached an NFL offense.
Of course, there’s an elephant in the room here, which has to do with Sarkisian’s drinking. I’m one to give second chances, and the Falcons clearly are too, but I did wonder if it would come up during this conversation.
Vaughn McClure at ESPN did ask, and he came away with a great story. I thought the way Sark addressed the fact that alcoholism is going to be something he always deals with was refreshingly honest. You should read the whole story.
Sarkisian: 'Alcoholism doesn't define me' https://t.co/K9Lgk3k1WK— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 9, 2017
No one knows how Sarkisian will fare in Atlanta, but he’s hitting all the right notes early. Let’s hope that leads to future success.