In the last two weeks, it was speculated that Atlanta Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan was taking the heading coaching position with the 49ers, but because of NFL rules, it could not be announced until the Falcons was out of the playoffs or lost the Super Bowl. On Monday, it was confirmed that Shanahan officially took the position.
On Tuesday, the Falcons replaced Shanahan with Steve Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator. Sarkisian had a little stint with the Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban had some good words about Sarkisian; “We appreciate all Coach Sarkisian did for our program during his time here.”
“He is an outstanding coach, and we wish him the best in his new role as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. As always, when we have an opening on our staff, we will use it as an opportunity to go out and hire the best coach available.”
Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn has been optimistic with bringing Sarkisian in, because of his aggressive style as a play caller. “As a play-caller, I felt like, number one, what an aggressive play-caller he’s been through the years,” Quinn said of the reason behind the hire. “He has a real familiarity with the live zone scheme, the play action, the keepers. Thatâs such a big part of what we do. Itâs him as a play-caller, two of the guys that I respect most in our profession, Pete (Caroll) and Nick (Saban) and being part of both of their programs, I know what he stands for as a coach.”
As the Falcons regroup from the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, Sarkisian will have to step in the big shoes that Shanahan filled. The Falcons owned the league on the offensive end, averaging 33.1 per game as they lit up opponents with their receiving core, and Matt Ryan had an MVP year. As one chapter closes and another one opens, it will be interesting to see how the Falcons react after their heartbreaking loss.