Steve Sarkisian trying to improve, not maintain, Falcons offense

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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 “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.

15 responses to “Steve Sarkisian trying to improve, not maintain, Falcons offense

  1. Seems like people who work in professional sports get many more “chances” at life than the average guy….

  2. Critics are simplistically looking at that big lead rather than recalling that the Falcons hadn’t monstered the Pats – the game was 0-0 after Q1 and the Falcons lead came in an unusal 2nd quarter. Were it not for Brady throwing an extremely rare INT as he marched the Pats close to scoring, and were it not fortunately returned for a Falcon TD, and had the refs not incorrectly flagged the Pats (for illegal formation) for their leap-block of a Falcon kick, the half-time score would have been 13-10 rather than 21-3.

    The Falcons’ main problem was SB inexperience – thinking that lead was all down to their brilliance rather than ebb and flow, then playing it safe too for long and popping “once in a lifetime” champagne with Blank on the sidelines too, all forgetting the Pats often start slow – all their SB wins were from behind! And that the Pats adjust at the half better than anyone and can score quick. And forgetting that nearly half of Brady & Belichick’s seasons (7 of 16 with Brady starting) reach the Super Bowl – it was almost just another game for them.

  3. They need to improve clock management. If the Patriots were playing any other team in the league in that exact situation, they would have easily lost the Super Bowl. Even the Browns wouldn’t have choked on a lead like that.

  4. Unlike lesser teams like the Cowboys, at least Atlanta did what it took to make it to the SB. That is something from which they can build.

  5. Brady’s INT in the SBowl was due to a very clever ‘robber’ scheme trick that Brady hadn’t seen and didn’t recognize. The Falcons didn’t choke, the Pats took it away from them. That being said, the Falcons had a great offense last yr. They were hanging 40 on everyone. People forget, the Patriots had the #1 scoring defense in the NFL last yr. They held the Falcons offense to 21, and made the big plays when they had to. They’re well coached, and were better conditioned. That’s why they’re the World Champions. Again.

  6. Steve, if you have a 25 point lead, run the ball more than 5 times.. Oh and maybe run the play clock down! That is all.

  7. He is right only problem is Shannahan was/is probably the best Coordinator/Offensive mind in league. Sark on the other hand… never been an NFL OC… Okay man..

  8. Love the photo of Sark in the U of Alabama attire. He was there for what, a couple of hours? Alabama averaged 455 yards/game without him, and 376 yards under his play calling. The smarter move for Sark would be to just not say anything.

  9. People who don’t know what they’re talking about always have the simplistic Monday morning answers for everything. Why didn’t Atlanta run the FB? 2 reasons. 1.The Pats were stuffing the run in the 2nd half. 2. The Falcons staff decided to keep going with the excellent offense that got them there.

    These are the same people that think that, with time running out, you hand the ball off to MLynch and he walks into the endzone. Against the Patriots goaline defense. Despite MLynch’s stats saying otherwise. Please. Know what you’re talking about.

  10. I’d be more than satisfied with maintaining Falcons’ excellent offensive production and just making some defensive improvement. Do that and they’re right back in the tournament with a bye and 1st game home field.

    Then with a little luck they also won’t have to play another Bowl against the Greatest Player and Coach in League History.

    I’d take my chances with a team built around Ryan; he proved he can play in the biggest moments. Could easily be wearing his first ring. Pats Fan

  11. I’d like to think that if I’m ever caught on camera eating my own snots, I can advance into an even higher-paying position in a better field myself.

  12. For the last half of the year the Falcons offensive playing calling was masterful. It is not a harsh critique to say the Sark is not going to be able to replicate that! Hell, I doubt Shannahan would even be able to replicate that if he had stayed. Do not hold Sark up to the pedestal that was created last year. Let him grow into the job. Just like the 49ers are not going to expect Shannahan to put up anywhere near the same numbers with their squad. The 49ers players are simply not as good as the Falcon players and Sark simply is not as good as Shannahan.

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