D Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution went on Charlotte radio to drop some Falcons truth bombs, like the status of Julio Jones’ contract, and Tevin Coleman’s nonexistent future with the team. Hey, Ledbetter, we could use that sweet news over here too, and not just on The Wake Up Call on ESPN Charlotte radio. When asked point blank about embattled offensive play caller Steve Sarkisian’s job security, Ledbetter explained the team’s thoughts.
Ledbetter said Sarkisian’s job is on the line a “great deal” this season, and it’s clear he stumbled last season with what was previously the league’s best offense. Ledbetter suggests a “change will have to be in order” if the offense again struggles, especially considering the addition of Calvin Ridley. He suggests that new quarterback coach Greg Knapp was brought in to help with the offensive game plan and in-game adjustments. He calls the quarterback coach Sarkisian’s unofficial “sounding board.”
There might have been a little too much optimism with Sarkisian entering his first season, on account of the team
lying stating he would be running basically the same playbook. Instead we saw Sarkisian struggling to adjust to the NFL, the offense, and whatever playbook they were using. It was admittedly a short offseason for Sarkisian, who made the big transition in February.
Our expectation was the team would add a quarterback coach with experience calling plays in the pros to help Sarkisian work out the wrinkles, or to replace Sarkisian if he can’t get things worked out. The team braintrust should absolutely be expecting improvement from Sarkisian. Expectations are high, and the last guy that kept around bad coaches too long was demoted all the way to Tampa Bay.
At the same time, Sarkisian has no excuses this year. He should be adjusted, ready, and competent 18 months into his job. He gets some coaching help in Knapp, who you may not like, but is definitely a big upgrade over Bush Hamdan. Ridley is a huge piece for the offense, and should allow for more creativity and versatility.
The offense should bounce back into the top 10 if the pass catchers can just limit drops. If Sarkisian can fix the red zone woes and incorporate the running backs more into the passing game, he shouldn’t need to worry about his job security.