It’s been a whirlwind week for Falcons fans wondering who is the eventual replacement to Steve Sarkisian. First the team was interviewing Mike Mularkey and the team was moving quickly. Then Darrell Bevell was the favorite and they were in no rush to make a hire. The next day Dirk Koetter was the favorite.
Just yesterday, reports denied Koetter was the team’s first choice at offensive coordinator, and the Falcons were still hoping to land Adam Gase and Gary Kubiak. Then Monday night it was reported Koetter had been offered the job.
Why can’t the Falcons give us overworked bloggers a break? Two years ago the team showed some interest in Chip Kelly then hired Steve Sarkisian out of nowhere. There was almost nothing for us to write about.
Now ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, source for the Bevell news, suggests Koetter is at least weighing other options around the league.
If Dirk Koetter turns down other suitors and comes back to become the Falcons offensive coordinator, it would mean he'll likely be paid as one of the top coordinators in the league, if not the top. And no doubt he would receive a multi-year deal,... https://t.co/uCCrZ12scC— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) January 8, 2019
Koetter must certainly be in demand by other teams looking for a new coordinator, however, those teams have not been made public. Vaughn suggests Koetter won’t be cheap, and based on his ability to make countless quarterbacks look great, is undoubtably true.
While Koetter may not be an exciting selection, he’s a safe pick that is familiar with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, has loads of pro experience calling plays, and has shown he can can get that explosive passing game together. If we’re keeping score, Sarkisian had none of those qualifications two years ago.
For what it’s worth, Vaughn suggests Koetter is a great fit with Ryan. Beat writers have unanimously said Matt Ryan loves Koetter and the two have a great relationship. Koetter may need to tweak his offense a bit, but it won’t be like trying to force Sarkisian to run Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
It’s a little surprising the Falcons are planning to move so quickly with hiring a new offensive coordinator considering they have been unable to interview multiple candidates. While Koetter seems like a smart pick, a few more days may give them a shot at talking to Gase and Kubiak. Another 5 days gives them a shot at a few more coaches bounced from the playoffs. The move only makes sense if he’s their top option or Koetter is receiving strong interest elsewhere.
Update: Jason Butt of The Athletic, who reported yesterday that Koetter was not the favorite for the job, updated Koetter’s status Tuesday morning. He said, “The Falcons denied that an offer was extended Monday night, although a source said it was certainly possible that Koetter could receive one as early as Tuesday.”
The inconsistent reports are concerning, especially with both the AJC and The Athletic knowing their reports conflict. It’s obviously possible the team is feeding bad information to one party or an agent is drumming up interest in their client.
It’s worth noting that ESPN’s Vaughn McClure failed to confirm the AJC’s report from last night. Fans are forced to stick around and wait for more information because nothing is clear regarding the search.