What can the Atlanta Falcons improve on in the upcoming season? Is it time for the Falcons to pursue going a new quarterback or obtain a new offensive coordinator? The Falcons and their fans are growing more impatient for a Super Bowl title.
This season, quarterback Matt Ryan did not lived up to the hype of his previous MVP caliber play. He was heavily criticized for his lack of aggression and for not being able to get the ball to big receivers such as Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Also called into question was the conservative play calling from new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian. This offseason, the Falcons must find a way to win on the biggest stage.
Fans are wondering if Falcons will draft a quarterback to replace Ryan in the future, but team owner, Arthur Blank, wants to re-sign Ryan for an extension.
“We want to make Matt Ryan a Falcon for life,” said Blank in an interview with Super Bowl Live.
The Falcons have recently hired Greg Knapp as the new quarterback coach in hope to make some positive changes. This is Knapp’s second stint with the Falcons. He was the team’s offensive coordinator from 2004-2006. Knapp called plays for an offense that included Michael Vick, Warrick Dunn and Roddy White. With Knapp as the new quarterback coach and Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator, along with other factors, there is hope for a bright future.
All eyes are on Sarkisian this upcoming season after he received backlash for the fall of offensive production in the 2016-17 season. Sarkisian also received negative responses from fans after a questionable choice of play calling in a crucial play in the 2018 playoff game versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan immediately came to the defense of Sarkisian concerning the play call in a postgame interview with “11Alive”.
“I thought it was a good call,” Ryan said. “We just fell a little bit short.”
Head Coach Dan Quinn is satisfied with the work that Sarkisian has done in his first year as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. Analysts point out that his debut season was more productive than the Falcons former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, who received much of the praise for their recent Super Bowl run.
“There’s a lot of things that Sark has brought to our team that we really like,” says Quinn. “It’s easy to place the blame all on the one person. That’s a shared responsibility when we don’t achieve at the level that we would really like to.”
This season, the Falcons defense was phenomenal, but the offense seemed to be missing something. There were high expectations on Sarkisian. If the Falcons are going to progress any further with their current personnel they need to work out the kinks and get on the same page. It is conceivable that they can make another run in the postseason soon, but it will take hard work, determination and quite a few tough decisions.