Steve Sarkisian fired in wide-ranging shake-up | Free Press from USA

Steve Sarkisian fired in wide-ranging shake-up

Steve Sarkisian fired in wide-ranging shake-up

Just two years removed from a Super Bowl trip, the Atlanta Falcons are making some significant coaching changes and firing all three coordinators.

The team announced Monday that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong were all let go just one day after Atlanta finished 7-9 in a disappointing campaign.

It was Quinn’s first losing season in his four years with the team.

“While these are difficult decisions, we know we have a group of players here we are excited about and in order for us to consistently play true to our identity in all three phases we thought we needed some changes,” Quinn said in a release.

The Falcons also indicated that Quinn will take over control of the defense. Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator from 2013-14, guiding the unit to a Super Bowl XLVIII victory and helping build Seattle into one of the most ferocious defenses in the NFL.

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The Falcons ranked eighth in the NFL scoring defense (19.7 points a game) last season, but ranked 25th this year (26.4) amid a rash of injuries. Atlanta also gave up an average of 66.1 yards more each game this year than it did last season.

With running back Devonta Freeman missing all but two games, the Falcons struggled to develop a consistent rushing attack. Atlanta ranked 27th this season in rushing offense, generating just 98.3 yards a game.

While Atlanta’s offense did finish 10th in scoring (25.9 points a game), which was an improvement over last season’s total of 22.1 (tied for 14th), Quinn said he felt the unit needed to transition.

“Sark has shown he’s a good coach and play caller,” Quinn said in the release. “After evaluating the entire season, I decided it was necessary that we had a new voice and direction for our offensive unit. I have a ton of respect for Sark, both personally and professionally, and I appreciate all he’s done during his time here.”

The Falcons indicated that both Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will collaborate to hire the new assistants.

Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.

 

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