FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is aware of criticism comes with the job. He refuses to succumb to it.
With 4 video games remaining within the 2018 common season, the naysayers proceed to speculate about Sarkisian’s future with the group because the offense has skilled its share of struggles throughout a four-eight marketing campaign. The Falcons play at Inexperienced Bay on Sunday (1 p.m. ET Fox).
Coach Dan Quinn stated he’ll consider each aspect of the group, together with the employees, after the season. The Falcons final modified coordinators after their 2016 Tremendous Bowl run, when offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left to grow to be the San Francisco 49ers head coach and defensive coordinator Richard Smith was not retained.
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Requested Thursday if he felt any stress to produce higher outcomes over the ultimate quarter of the season to show he belongs as coordinator, Sarkisian scowled and shook his head.
“I by no means feel the need to validate myself to anyone exterior of our constructing,” Sarkisian stated. “I work for Arthur Clean, Thomas Dimitroff, Dan Quinn, and I labored for these gamers. And I do the most effective I can do for them each single day. One week doesn’t change how I put together or what I do. You place the work in. You feel good in regards to the work. And if you do, you are in a position to go to sleep at night time understanding you probably did your job.
“You at all times need to do higher,” Sarkisian continued. “There’s at all times issues that you just want you probably did higher. However my focus is on placing our gamers in the most effective place to achieve success Sunday in Lambeau [Field].”
The Falcons’ strategy all season has been to not fear in regards to the massive image and deal with the following recreation. The fact is ’18 has been a significant disappointment on many ranges, particularly from an offensive perspective. Throughout a present 4-recreation dropping streak, the Falcons have averaged 17 factors per recreation. They’ve averaged 21.three factors of their eight losses and 31.5 factors factors of their 4 wins.
Certain, quarterback Matt Ryan is finishing a profession-finest 70.9 % of his passes, and extensive receiver Julio Jones tops the league in receiving yards with 1,323. Nonetheless, the Falcons have been one-dimensional as they rank final within the league with a median of 79 dashing yards per recreation.
Final season, with a wholesome Devonta Freeman, the Falcons ranked 13th within the league in dashing with a median of 115.four dashing yards per recreation and ranked eighth at four.three yards per dashing try. This season, with Freeman enjoying in solely two video games earlier than being place on injured reserve following groin surgical procedure, the Falcons stand as the only group but to rush for 1,000 yards mixed.
There have been instances when Sarkisian has been responsible of not staying dedicated to the run recreation. His creativity sometimes comes into query every time followers sees Tevin Coleman or Ito Smith get stuffed making an attempt to run up the center. However Sarkisian cannot take all of the blame when offensive linemen cannot get a superb push, when a operating again doesn’t make a defender miss, or when these doing the expertise analysis present confidence in gamers most likely not adequate to constantly get the job completed.
Sarkisian talked about how a lot the shortage of a operating recreation has handcuffed him as a playcaller.
“I have been stressing all of it alongside: We would favor to be a balanced offensive soccer group,” Sarkisian stated. “Once we’re balanced, once we can run it, we are able to play-motion cross, we are able to throw the ball, we are able to do all of the issues that we would like to do, that is once we’re at our greatest.
“Even within the stretch once we had been throwing the ball effectively and we weren’t operating it nice, I saved making an attempt to reiterate, ‘We have got to hold discovering our methods to run the soccer as a result of that is once we’re at our greatest.’ We’ll proceed to attempt to try this right here the final quarter of the season.”
The gamers have supported Sarkisian all season, and their stance hasn’t change. Ryan talked in regards to the open dialogue he has had with his coordinator and the flexibility to make solutions, with Sarkisian being receptive. Jones has spoken extremely of Sarkisian from the second he changed Shanahan.
“Sark, he is part of us, offensively,” Jones stated. “He cannot be good with out us, and vice versa. We’re simply collectively. We’ve got to have the arrogance in him. He has to have the arrogance in us. It is not like you may go right into a recreation, ‘I haven’t got confidence in him.’ That is identical to him saying he doesn’t believe in us and he doesn’t name sure performs. It is a belief factor.
“I recognize Sark, every little thing he [does] for us. He dials up the performs. Sadly, we’ve not been scoring. I am nonetheless excessive on him.”
Discipline Yates, Mike Clay and Stephania Bell discuss in regards to the Falcons’ backfield and whether or not Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman maintain any worth in dynasty.
Mentioned tight finish Austin Hooper, “He does a pleasant job of not letting any exterior noise or something that any followers or writers say have an effect on the best way he’s. He has the identical strategy each single week, and I actually admire that. He simply retains the identical mindset, preaches an analogous message [about] consistently enhancing and getting higher. I actually recognize that about him.”
Quinn pointed to one of many positives he has seen in Sarkisian, and that is been the group’s efficiency within the pink zone. The Falcons are changing at a 65.7 % charge within the pink zone this season, going 23 of 35. Final season, they had been at 50 % whereas changing 27 of 54 alternatives.
Some marvel why Sarkisian hasn’t used extra no-huddle offense. The fact is group has to decide up first downs to go up-tempo, and the Falcons have not constantly completed that.
Others ask why the Falcons do not make the most of extra of an influence run recreation. They are not constructed for it based mostly on a zone run scheme extra reliant on undersized linemen, though that is not an excuse for not choosing up a minimum of 1 yard, when wanted. The Falcons do not have an effect fullback, both.
Though there’ll proceed to be hypothesis about Sarkisian’s standing, nothing shall be clearly evident till after the season. Based mostly on his phrases, Sarkisian is barely targeted on the following recreation.