Despite earning a conference championship and coming a late-game meltdown away from winning Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons are going to have a nearly completely revamped coaching staff next season.
It started with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan leaving to become the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach. It then snowballed to where multiple coaches on both sides of the ball either parted ways with the Falcons or were let go (more on that here).
Amid all this, Atlanta tasked former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian with replacing Shanahan as the team’s shot-caller on that side of the ball.
This was met with plenty of questions. How would Sarkisian do in his first coordinating job in the NFL? Is he going to keep the same scheme that helped Atlanta’s offense rack up the most points in the NFL this past season?
Well, head coach Dan Quinn answered that latter question when making Sark’s hire official.
“We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place,” Quinn said, via ESPN. “Along with Thomas [Dimitroff, the Falcons’ general manager], we have a real emphasis now on how we can fit guys into that system. It’s very important that we stay consistent with that.”
This should probably quiet skeptics who believe Sarkisian was going to bring with him a completely new scheme from Alabama. However, it won’t quiet those who believe Atlanta regressed a great deal from a coaching standpoint since blowing a 25-point lead against the Patriots in Super Bowl LI this past Sunday.
At the very least, not everything is going to change when the Falcons set off to defend their conference title next season. Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will both be returning. They’ll do so while seemingly working under the same offensive system. That’s not a bad thing, at all.