Dirk Koetter is back with the Falcons as the team’s offensive coordinator. Whether you love or hate the move, there’s nothing to be done about it now except evaluate why the team went in this direction and how the move will work out for Atlanta.
Steve Sarkisian’s dismissal was expected, and there was some dread surrounding the possibility of a down year while Matt Ryan and the rest of the offense adjust to yet another coordinator. Bringing in Koetter does minimize that risk, which is good considering that Ryan and Julio are both getting to point in their careers where wasting a season would be acutely painful.
But there’s plenty of reason to be less-than-thrilled with the decision to welcome back Koetter. Let’s work through the reactions to this move.
The Falcoholic staff is fine with the hire, but not enthused
Our staff weighed in on the Koetter hire, and we’re all on the same page. He gets a solid B across the board.
For me, Koetter grades out as a B because he’s not the most thrilling hire, but he is someone who should be able to come in and minimize the learning curve for players he’s already spent years working with in Atlanta. We saw a dip in productivity with the hires of Kyle Shanahan and Steve Sarkisian, and another lost season wouldn’t be ideal at this point in Ryan and Julio’s career. Hiring Koetter is arguably the best shot to avoid that.
Here’s everyone else’s reasoning.
Dave Choate: I leaned B because I think Koetter will do a fine job, but I’ve said many times that I don’t think it’s an inspiring hire. Hopefully he’ll be better than I expected, but this offense should be very good either way.
Matt Chambers: We have a pretty good grasp on who Dirk Koetter is at this point in his career. Obviously if he was a little better he’d be interviewing for more HC jobs. However, he’s shown he can produce when given given good personnel despite a few flaws. He’s a clear upgrade over Sarkisian who regularly struggled with consistency.
DW: Familiarity with the QB and star WR shouldn’t be overlooked.
Carter Breazeale: The Falcons avoided Shiny Object Syndrome and went with a reasonable, experienced pick. It’s not the flashiest hire, but Dirk Koetter’s familiarity with Matt Ryan’s strengths and weaknesses and his scheme which relies on explosive, vertical plays should bode well for the future of the Falcons’ offense.
Cory Woodroof: I think it’s a hire that has potential to be really good for the offense and for Matt Ryan as he continues into his prime. I just don’t know what the ceiling is for his play calling and if it’ll be enough to contend for another chance at a championship.
Evan Birchfield: I gave the hire a B. It’s not world-changing, but given the options, it was probably the best move. We can only hope the familiarity between Koetter and this offense means no first-year drop off like Sark & Shanahan experienced.
Fan reactions are a real mixed bag
A majority of fans who responded to our poll are also leaning toward a B for the Koetter hire.
Based on my mentions, Falcons fans have very mixed feelings about the Koetter hire. Let's grade it.— Jeañña (@jeannathomas) January 9, 2019
But individual perspectives were all over the place.
I think it was a great NFL hire IMO because I was basically on Team 'Anybody But Sark.' Beef up the Defense & Think Positive Thoughts: Is how I'm feeling...— iblame summers (@iblamesummers) January 9, 2019
C. I'm gonna wait and see. I'm cautiously optimistic though— ATL UTD MLS CHAMPS! (@Eddie_chief89) January 9, 2019
Is there an ‘E’ for eh...?— jenny winkleman (@jenmeyers) January 9, 2019
Need a "B-" option— LLC (@YaBoiLLC) January 9, 2019
We could do a lot friggin worse.— Jesse Dahl (@thisistherevolt) January 9, 2019
I received an invoice for my season tickets and this move leaves me uninspired— 25th Dynasty (@FavUncleMoe) January 9, 2019
He will be competent but nothing special— hunter wells (@hunterwells2014) January 9, 2019
Confusing. If DQ insists on the WCO schemes that’s not what Dirk did here in 2012. Dirk will have to innovate. Falcons cannot be predictable because Dirks back.— Lee Jay (@kusonagi) January 9, 2019
Who would Falcon fans consider a great hire? Are we forgetting that Lovie Smith was fried after what 1 or 2 years so TB would not lose Dirk? Good hire— BR (@brog59) January 9, 2019
I just have a hard time trusting a guy that drafted (not by himself) a kicker in the second round. I mean Dan is the boss and Matty is the franchise QB, but these decisions seem based off what’s best for Matt Ryan and Matt Ryan alone.— Thats Mr Jones (@braedenjones27) January 9, 2019
I think getting someone who Matt already knows is good. That way we don’t have to wait another year for him to adjust to a new playbook.— Dean Eidson (@deano_05) January 9, 2019
It’s your turn to weigh in on Koetter
How are you feeling about the hire? Vote in our poll below.
How would you grade the Falcons’ decision to bring back Dirk Koetter?
This poll is closed