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.
Source confirms that Steve Sarkisian is all but certain to be named the #Falcons next offensive coordinator. Announcement forthcoming.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) February 7, 2017
Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian is poised to replace Kyle Shanahan as Falcons' new OC, as @Schultz_Report reported.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2017
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.