Things went haywire down the stretch in the Super Bowl, but the Falcons offense didn’t hit too many rough patches before that point in the 2016 season.
That’s part of the reason why Kyle Shanahan is now the head coach of the 49ers and Steve Sarkisian has stepped into his old job as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. Sarkisian is keeping many of Shanahan’s concepts in place, but says maintenance isn’t his top priority.
“It’s not my job to maintain [the offense], but to improve it,” Sarkisian said to Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. “I wouldn’t be a competitor if I didn’t feel that way.”
Sarkisian’s last major improvement project was himself. His time as USC’s head coach ended as Sarkisian’s alcoholism affected his job performance and left Sarkisian to work on handling the problem. He told Prisco he “came out of it all knowing there was a better version of Steve Sarkisian inside of me” and he’s shared some of that process with Falcons players so they can know who he is as a person as well as a coach.
Success on offense does not have the far-reaching implications that tackling addiction will have for Sarkisian’s life, but the chances of the former seem better as long as the coach continues to be vigilant about the latter.