In one of the most shocking moves we’ve seen in quite some time around the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons signed Steve Sarkisian to be their next offensive coordinator. One of the reasons this was such unbelievable news was that Sarkisian was named Alabama’s offensive coordinator just one month ago to replace Lane Kiffin.
More news is coming out on this that helps us understand how this came about.
According to Morgan Moriarty of SB Nation, Nick Saban and Sarkisian’s relationship “deteriorated amid disagreements of ‘system philosophy'” to the point where “both parties planned to move on following Signing Day last Wednesday.”
Per this report, Saban was aware that Sarkisian was in contact with the Falcons as well.
Additionally, Moriarty reports the differences between Saban and Sarkisian were “too similar” to the issues Saban faced with Kiffin that ultimately led the offensive coordinator to accept a head coaching gig at Florida Atlantic.
“There was an effort on Saban’s part not to repeat the same problem. This wasn’t going to work out,” a source close to Sarkisian told SB Nation.
Perhaps this speaks to how difficult it is to work under Saban, who is extremely conservative and defensive-minded in his approach to football. Or, perhaps this speaks to the flighty nature of Kiffin and Sarkisian. Time will tell.
What we absolutely know for sure is that there are more unknowns at play here with Sarkisian going to Atlanta than solid answers. It’s going to be fascinating to watch the process unfold in 2017.