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Greg Knapp’s role in Falcons’ offensive scheming might be larger than realized

An interesting note bubbles up over at The Athletic.

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Atlanta Falcons v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Column maestro Jeff Schultz rightly points out in his newest piece for The Athletic that Atlanta’s Super Bowl chances will come down to OC Steve Sarkisian’s maturation.

Indeed, he’s right. That’s the bread and butter of where this team goes, and as he rises, so will the Falcons.

This paragraph caught our eye, though.

But the biggest change must come from Sarkisian. He’ll call plays from the field, where he was most comfortable working in college. He’ll now be supported in practices, meetings and games by Greg Knapp, the Falcons’ former offensive coordinator who returns as the quarterbacks coach. Knapp will survey defensive coverages and tendencies from the press box, allowing Sarkisian to focus on just play-calling. Knapp said the two have been friends for several years, even though they’ve never worked on the same staff.

That feels important.

We knew Knapp would be helping in pointing out the coverages, but the way Schultz words this makes it seem like much more of a partnership than a supporting role.

If Knapp is doing this now, it must mean this is what Sarkisian was doing by his lonesome last season. We’ve long wondered what Knapp’s addition secretly meant for this offense, and this clip might reveal what we’ve long speculated.

Knapp might be an unsung co-offensive coordinator.

Now, it’s important to note Sark will still be calling the actual plays themselves, though how Knapp dictates the defensive looks will influence what Sark feels comfortable in calling up. That’s key. Knapp’s ability to size up a defense looks now to be just as imperative as Sark’s role in drawing up the plays.

We don’t want to kick up a fuss and say any of this is brand new intel, though the way Schultz casts a frame on the coaches makes it seem like it’s quite potent for Knapp to be reading these defenses right. It makes you wonder if that was the key issue last year with Sark. He knew the right play to call; he just didn’t know how exactly to match that with what the best defenses were cooking up.

The team will now rely on Knapp for this necessary step. That really sounds like he’s got a good bit of sway over where the offense goes this season. He sounds like the starting point to where the play calling winds up.