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Report: Falcons to hire Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as new OC

It’s a surprising, out-of-nowhere hire, if confirmed.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This is not a name we had heard linked to the Falcons’ offensive coordinator opening, and so it comes as a complete surprise to see Steve Sarkisian’s name being reported as the team’s new OC.

If this does turn out to be accurate, you’ll want to know a little more about the coach. Sark, as he’s sometimes known, got his coaching start as a quarterbacks coach, spending time at USC and with the Oakland Raiders in that role before becoming the head coach at Washington (the school) before moving on to that same role at USC. He was terminated from USC in 2015, and it appears he had a history of problems with alcohol at both Washington and USC that came to light in the run-up to (and immediately following) his dismissal. He spent about a month (no, seriously) as Alabama’s offensive coordinator before this hire.

Sarkisian has a long history of getting the most out of running backs at the college level, including Chris Polk, Bishop Sankey, and Javorious Allen, and is very obviously still a well-regarded offensive mind. What we’ll need to understand in the near future is what his plans for this particular offense will be, but if the Falcons are making this hire, they clearly think he can carry on or improve what Kyle Shanahan did in Atlanta. It’s a surprising addition, but one that I hope will pay off for the Falcons.

Now we’ll wait to see if the team confirms it.