Report: Falcons might dismiss both coordinators

The Sports Xchange

December 18, 2018 at 12:29 pm.

After playing in the Super Bowl two years ago and reaching the playoffs last season, the Atlanta Falcons thought they had the ingredients for another Super Bowl run this season.

Instead they are just 5-9, and that kind of disappointment typically leads to changes. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that head coach Dan Quinn seems safe but others on his staff are not.

“At this point…it sounds like a strong possibility that there will be significant changes to coach Dan Quinn’s coaching staff,” Pelissero said. “Now, owner Arthur Blank has already said publicly he does not think Quinn is the problem. My understanding is Dan Quinn, who got a contract extension through 2022 just last summer, absolutely is going to be back. But this is a possibility here that he could end up cleaning out both of his coordinators — that’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel. It would not be a surprise if they overhaul things on both sides of the ball.”

Sarkisian took over for Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta last year, and things have not gone as well as they did under Shanahan, now the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach.

The Falcons had major problems in the red zone last season, but Atlanta’s offense has improved this season. The Falcons rank ninth in total offense and 10th in scoring offense, averaging 25.4 points per game.

However, in a recent five-game losing streak, they never scored more than 20 points and were limited to 16 points twice.

Perhaps with quarterback Matt Ryan and explosive wide receivers like Julio Jones and rookie Calvin Ridley, the Falcons expected more.

Injuries to the offensive line and running back Devonta Freeman have not helped.

“If indeed Sark is out, one name to keep in mind is former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell,” Pelissero said. “He knows Quinn well from their days together in Seattle. Bevell, I’m told, was actually in the building in Atlanta this past spring doing some work with the coaching staff. He stayed in close touch with Dan Quinn, knows the type of offense they want to run. It would not be a huge departure in terms of their running game, although certainly there would be some different things he would bring to the table schematically as they try to get the MVP from a couple years ago — Matt Ryan– and all those weapons back on track.”

Manuel came over from Seattle with Quinn in 2015. He was the Falcons’ secondary coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator last January.

The Falcons rank 24th in the NFL in total defense and are 23rd in scoring defense, allowing 25.4 points per game.