Steve Sarkisian called plays at the NFL level for the first time in his career on Thursday night in Atlanta’s 23-20 loss to the Dolphins. We asked you how he did, and you answered.
Play calling was a concern, because former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had a preternatural ability to read and anticipate what opposing defenses were going to give him. He also had an aversion to situational football that makes me viscerally angry to this day, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But I digress.
Based on the performance of the first team, I think it was a pretty solid debut for Sark. The chemistry looks intact, and I especially loved the play call on fourth-and-1 that resulted in a Devonta Freeman touchdown. That looked like the 2016 Falcons we all know and love.
Bear in mind, too, that play calls are pretty vanilla in the preseason by necessity. You don’t want to throw your best stuff out there in a meaningless game against the Dolphins and give opponents who will count the chance to effectively prepare.
Here’s what your fellow Falcons fans said.
The first string offense didn't seem any different to be honest. Receivers were designed open and play action worked well— Davíd (@Falconz_101) August 11, 2017
Fam. Papa John’s is way worse than Sark’s play calling.
Just like @PapaJohns. Awesome and definitely sticking around even if people don't like it. ;)— AtlantaFanatic (@j_vick86) August 11, 2017
It's only the first preseason game but with the limited playbook I thought the calls were fine. Keeping the rollouts is nice.— Taylor (@CouldBeTaylor) August 11, 2017
i like that 4 and 1 call shows confidence— Monte (@HotRamenCup) August 11, 2017
Yeah, that guy is a bust.
Tough to say it's preseason game 1 doubt we will see any of the new wrinkles . But to be fair F- because Mart Ryans still the starter.— Ethan (@CrazyBigEthan) August 11, 2017
Amen, my friend.
I liked the plays he called where no starters were injured— Mike O (@VTMikeO) August 11, 2017
Looked pretty good to me. Seemed like a seamless transition from Shannie.— Heath Houston (@heathhouston) August 11, 2017
Mixed feelings :/— Saeed / Philar (@Duckswrestling) August 11, 2017
Better then having that HACK, Shanahan.— (duncan) blue check (@duncanbarchard) August 11, 2017
Seemed good with the 1s. Massive talent drop off after that. Good players should be able to execute an advanced offense much better than 3s— Taylor Travis (@ttravis617) August 11, 2017
And that last tweet helps explain this.
seemed ok.. I think the execution of it by the players might have been a miss in spots... especially in the second half— Rich (@rxw0702) August 11, 2017
Liked the same aggressive mentality of the offense. I believe play calls will get a bit more strategic with each game.— Atlanta Proud (@Brsidd24) August 11, 2017
Once he gets more comfortable with the personnel it will get better. But overall not bad— Rise Up SZN (@uummm_nick) August 11, 2017
Liked what he was trying to do for the most part. Felt a good bit of it was vanilla...we'll see what he dials up during the reg season.— Shanny Eight (@meechi_blue) August 11, 2017
Thought he should have tried to mix it up with some runs to the outside— BigSlim (@dbeats23) August 11, 2017
Pretty good, I know he is holding back from unleashing the full #Sarknado offense— Neil (@RealNeilB) August 11, 2017
Always a good thing!
Not bad. Was kinda boring but it's preseason. Ryan looked comfortable. Also! It didn't drive me to drunkenness so that's a plus!— Kyle McClendon (@KyleWMcClendon) August 11, 2017
This is a fact.
I thought it was fine, but you're gonna get a lot of peeps reading *too* much into a preseason game.— Name's Not Dave... (@DewRetty) August 11, 2017
Think it was better than his time with bama (I didn't see the game)— Brice Paterik (@80GradeWhitt) August 11, 2017
1st drive: He's a genius!— DW (@FalcoholicDW) August 11, 2017
2nd drive: Meh
3rd drive: Wait
4th drive: Oh no
5th drive: PLEASE COME BACK SHANNY
Remainder: liver failure
This is the only correct response.
championship incoming imo— Kendall Jackson (@projectjax) August 11, 2017
So what did you think of Sark’s play calling? Leave your thoughts in the comments.