The general reaction to the Falcons’ decision to bring back former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter for another go wasn’t elation and it wasn’t blind rage. Falcons fans know what they’re getting, and he should be fine.
“I am a huge Dirk Koetter fan on the offensive side of the ball,” Simms said, via the Falcons’ Kelsey Conway. “I’m not going to say this is Kyle Shanahan, but I think this is as good as Atlanta has had in a while. His play-action pass and deep passes down the field are really what separate him. Creativity has been my issue with the Falcons on the offensive side of the ball since Kyle left and I think he’s going to bring that back in the fold.”
The lack of creativity from Steve Sarkisian is a valid criticism. We saw flashes over his two seasons in Atlanta, but he failed to bring that to the field consistently. And with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley’s speed and clean routes, Koetter should be able to make some fun things happen with the deep ball.
Simms also isn’t buying that last season’s win-loss record is indicative of any issues that will carry into 2019.
“The Falcons are still in a good spot, they just got ravaged by injuries this past year to where I’m not concerned about the Falcons,” Simms said. “They are going to be right back in the fold of the playoff conversation once again. There’s just too much talent on both sides of the football.”
For what it’s worth, Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans echoed that sentiment during Pro Bowl festivities.
“He made us one of the top offenses in the league, so I think he’ll do the same in Atlanta,” Evans said, via the Falcons’ Will McFadden. “He has the weapons. It will be a top-five offense, for sure.”
The offense is definitely stacked with weapons, and the defense will automatically be more effective with Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen back on the field. We’ve still got free agency and the draft ahead of us, but overall, Simms and Evans are right. There’s a lot to be optimistic about for the Falcons as we look toward the 2019 season.