NFL Rumors: Steve Sarkisian to be Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator

The Atlanta Falcons shock the football world by reportedly offering Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian the same postion in Atlanta.

After losing Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons lost their highly touted offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the San Francisco 49ers, where he accepted the head coaching position.

Atlanta knew that Shanahan was going to leave for the 49ers job for well over a month. The Falcons’ replacement for Shanahan comes as a huge surprise. It seems Atlanta is poised to hire former Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as its new offensive coordinator.

Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post was the first guy to break the news of Sarkisian to Atlanta. This move from Tuscaloosa to Atlanta is a huge shocker in the football world. Sarkisian had only been the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide for a game. He replaced Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Lane Kiffin before the 2016 National Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers.

Sarkisian had been on Saban’s 2016 Alabama staff as an offensive analyst. He had previously been the head coach of the USC Trojans (2014-15) and the Washington Huskies (2009-13). Before that, Sarkisian had spent seven of the previous eight seasons on Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans staff (2001-03, 2005-08). He spent 2004 as Kiffin’s quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders.

Sarkisian definitely came out of left field to get the Falcons offensive coordinator post. The two guys that were tied to the coaching vacancy were Falcons quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly.

LaFleur will either be Shanahan’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco or Sean McVay’s with the Los Angeles Rams. Kelly may be a prime candidate to replace Sarkisian in Tuscaloosa.

While they never worked together, Sarkisian and Falcons head coach Dan Quinn are two of the strongest branches of Carroll’s coaching tree. Quinn was the defensive coordinator under Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks for two years before becoming the Falcons head coach. He also served as Saban’s defensive line coach with the 2005-06 Miami Dolphins.

One has to believe that Quinn tabbed Sarkisian very early in the process. He hand selected Shanahan to be his first offensive coordinator despite never working together. While Sarkisian to the Falcons is stunning, Alabama is now looking for its third offensive coordinator in a matter or weeks. That’s unreal for a blue-blood program of that caliber.

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