Report: Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian's Job in Jeopardy If Team Struggles

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian of the Atlanta Falcons on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons could consider firing offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian if the offense struggles again in 2018.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution told the news to ESPN Charlotte's The Wake Up Call on Tuesday (h/t 

Per that article: "Ledbetter said Sarkisian's job is on the line a 'great deal' this season, and it's clear he stumbled last season with what was previously the league's best offense. Ledbetter suggests a 'change will have to be in order' if the offense again struggles, especially considering the addition of Calvin Ridley."

Ledbetter also noted new quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp will help prepare the team's game plans, assist with tactical adjustments during contests and will serve as Sarkisian's "sounding board."

In 2016, under former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers), the Falcons finished second in yards per game (415.8) and first in points per contest (33.8). In Sarkisian's first year at the helm, however, those rankings dropped to eighth (364.8 YPG) and 15th (22.1 PPG), respectively. 

The Falcons still reached the postseason, but it was clear the offense took a step back. Matt Ryan threw for 849 fewer yards and 18 fewer touchdowns. Julio Jones found the end zone just three times, his lowest mark for a season since 2013, when he only played five games. And the team went from being fifth in rushing yards in 2016 (120.5 per game) to 13th (115.4). 

The addition of Ridley at wide receiver should help, and the players will be more familiar with Sarkisian's schemes. But the Falcons' window won't be open forever. Ryan is 33. Jones skipped the team's minicamp as he seeks a reworked, more lucrative contract.

The Falcons can't afford to miss their opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Understandably, Sarkisian appears to be on the hot seat.   

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