The Atlanta Falcons are closing out a disaster season highlighted by injuries and coaching incompetencies. We know the players on injured reserve will get healthy, and we knew Dan Quinn would fire some underperforming coaches.
We guessed a few weeks back that Quinn will likely toss either Steve Sarkisian or Marquand Manuel. Manuel has brought the blitzes in the last few weeks, finally helping the defense to look adequate. Sarkisian had perhaps his best game of the season but it was after an egregiously long downturn of offensive incompetence.
Per Tom Pelissero, there’s a “strong possibility” both end up fired.
There’s a strong possibility of significant changes to Dan Quinn‘s #Falcons staff, including replacing OC Steve Sarkisian. One name to keep in mind: ex-#Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell, who actually spent a few weeks in camp working with Atlanta‘s defense. pic.twitter.com/2zg3iNlW5N— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 18, 2018
Quinn gave Sarkisian 2018 to figure out the offense. It appeared he did exactly that from Week 2 to Week 7 where the team averaged nearly 31 points per game. As Falcons fans have seen many times before, the wheels fell off. Atlanta averaged 19.6 points per game in their following five games.
It wasn’t a down week. It was a down month. If Quinn plans to move on, it is tough to blame him.
The potential replacement, Darrell Bevell, was the long-time Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator. The same coordinator that couldn’t run the ball to win a Super Bowl so he’s a natural fit with the Falcons. According to Pelissero, Bevell spent some time with the Falcons during the offseason, suggesting he still has a close relationship with Quinn.
Bevell’s offense would be similar, hopefully meaning little to no adjustment period. Sarkisian came to the Falcons as a first-time NFL play-caller and it showed. Bevell was the offensive coordinator for the Vikings from 2006 to 2010, and Seahawks from 2011 to 2017.
That’s a lot of pro experience for the offense. Quinn finally gets a chance to add coaches at the start of the offseason and not after the playoffs when there are fewer prospects.
No word on who may replace Manuel. Quinn could take a bigger role with the defense, reunite with an old friend like Gus Bradley, or add a big name like Vance Joseph.