When the Falcons replaced offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan with Steve Sarkisian, it seemed that things wouldn’t be much different. But things are much different.
“Just two totally different offenses as far as we aren’t the same as we were last year,” Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu said on Thursday’s PFT Live. “We’re still getting the little details together. I mean, each season is different in itself anyways so we’re trying to be the best we can be this year. We’re not trying to mimic anything last year.”
But that’s not what was said after Sarkisian was hired, and it’s not what anyone expected given the immense success the team had last year.
“I mean, we’re just trying to see what works best now,” Sanu said. “Things last year worked but also teams know what worked last year so they’re gonna be on their p’s and q’s as well.”
It’s a different explanation than Sanu provided during the offseason program, in May.
“He’s come in and he’s adding a lot of his offense in with a mixture of the offense that we had in the past,” Sanu said at the time regarding Sarkisian. “Everything is just coming out smooth. It seems like him and [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] gel well and everybody in the offense gels well with him. I’m excited to get out on the field and see how we operate as an offense. . . . It’s not many different wrinkles. It’s just a piece of his system and he’s just adding it in. We are just keeping the ball rolling.”
Separately, Sarkisian never committed to keeping the same offense in place, even though the offense worked incredibly well.
“It’s not my job to maintain [the offense], but to improve it,” Sarkisian said. “I wouldn’t be a competitor if I didn’t feel that way.”
The only problem is that the Falcons aren’t as competitive on offense as they were a year ago. And, apparently, last year’s offense is pretty much gone.