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Falcons new QBs coach Greg Knapp will consult in play calling

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Hear from Knapp and OC Steve Sarkisian on what’s ahead for offensive coaching this season.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Many folks have wondered how hands on new Falcons QBs coach Greg Knapp would be in the game planning in 2018, given Steve Sarkisian’s struggles a year ago.

As it turns out, he’ll have a vocal role.

In an interview with D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian spoke to what Knapp will allow him to do this season, and that, indeed, the new QBs coach will consult in helping call the plays this year.

“He just has a wealth of experience,” Sarkisian said. “He’s been doing it a long time. He’s coached a lot of great players. He’s coached a lot of great quarterbacks when you are talking about Steve Young and Peyton Manning, there’s instant respect when you walk into that quarterback room with Matt Ryan.”

Sarkisian said the addition of Knapp will allow him to focus on the big picture of the offense.

“It takes a little bit off (my plate),” Sarkisian said. “I know when Greg goes into that quarterback room, what is getting taught is exactly what needs to get taught from week-in to week-out, from game to game. I can continue to stay focused on the big picture of all 11 players per snap. There’s a huge value in it.”

Knapp will be consulted on the game plan and in-game for help calling plays.

“Without a doubt,” Sarkisian said. “He’s just got a wealth of experience. With experience comes knowledge. I’d be remiss not to lean on Greg in our game-planning and even in-game with some of the adjustments that need to be made.”

This is encouraging for all who feel Sark needs a veteran voice to guide him in his young NFL career, and for those who feel the offense looked a bit disorganized last season (which, if you’ll recall, included a couple of anonymous Falcons).

Knapp weighed in on the weight he knows Sark is under to perform.

“We live in a fish bowl,” Knapp said. “You guys are assessing everything that we do. There’s a need for a bit of a trust factor built in between coaches and coaches and players.

“You are going to have tough times during the season when there are setbacks. You want to have the ability to lean on another person knowing that ‘OK, I’m taking some hits right now, but I know the guy next to me is going to help me through these tough times.’”

With a guy like that in your corner helping you grow, and knowing the stress that’s on you, it makes a ton of sense that Sark is pretty happy to have Knapp around.

“Philosophically, Greg and I are very, very similar, if not identical to how we view the game,” Sarkisian said. “Greg being an extension of me through Matt is very consistent for Matt. He’s hearing the same thing whether if it’s from two different people. It reinforces a lot of things we talk about.”

Oh, and if you’d like further insight into Knapp’s relationship with backup QB Matt Schaub, well, uh, have at it!

“I call Matt Schaub my football son,” Knapp said. “I was with him back in ‘04 here and we got together in Houston through those years we developed a strong relationship.”

So, if the new QBs coach literally calls the expensive veteran reserve his “football son,” that’s probably a good reason why he’s still on the roster, sans what he brings in practice and as a mentor.

So, we’ll see if having Knapp around will help Sark get this offense to the point where its potential is.