FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Falcons wasted very little time replacing Kyle Shanahan, who left Atlanta to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday. In a press conference, Dan Quinn announced the hiring of Steve Sarkisian.
“With Kyle Shanahan being named out at San Francisco, we’re going to hire Steve Sarkisian as our offensive coordinator,” said Quinn. “As far as other staff things, honestly, I just got all the stuff done with the team today. There are some other things that I’ll work through over the next few days and we’ll keep you up to date on those as we know.”
While the news of Shanahan leaving scares many fans — he did build this Falcons’ offense into one of the most prolific scoring units in NFL history — the idea of change is even more frightening. How will the Falcons bring in a new offensive coordinator and not disrupt the unit Shanahan built?
“One hundred percent,” said Quinn when asked if Sarkisian will be using the same offensive feel that’s been instilled here in Atlanta. “And that’s the style we’re going to feature moving forward. We love the way that we attack and it took a lot of work to put that system in place. So along with Thomas Dimitroff, we have a real emphasis on the personnel and how we can feature the guys into that system. It’s very important that we stay consistent with that.”
Quinn did say that Sarkisian might have aspects to add to the Falcons’ system, but consistency was key. There is no need change a system that racked up 540 points in 2016.
What will Sarkisian bring to the staff?
“Well as a play-caller, I felt like number one what an aggressive play-caller he’s been through the years,” said Quinn. “He has a real familiarity with the wide-zone scheme, the play-action, and the keepers. That’s such a big part of what we do. It’s him as a play-caller. Two of the guys I respect most in our profession with Pete Carroll and Nick Saban and being a part of their programs. I know what he stands for as a coach.”