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Atlanta Falcons part ways with Steve Sarkisian

Former Alabama staff member Steve Sarkisian is out after two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

The NFL team announced on Monday morning that Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong would not be back on coach Dan Quinn’s staff for 2019.

The announcement came a day after Atlanta completed its 2018 season with a 34-32 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That left the Falcons with a 7-9 and out of the playoffs two seasons after winning the NFC championship and playing in the Super Bowl.

The offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl team, Kyle Shanahan, left the Falcons to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Quinn replaced him with Sarkisian.

With Shanahan calling the shots, Atlanta had the NFL’s highest-scoring team in 2016 and gained the second-most yards in the league.

In Sarkisian’s first season, the Falcons finished 15th in points and eighth in yardage among the NFL’s 32 teams. In 2018, Atlanta ranked 10th in points and sixth in yardage. But the improvement in stats didn’t reflect in the team’s record, which was three games worse in 2018 than in 2017.

The former Southern Cal head coach joined Alabama’s staff as an offensive analyst in September 2016. Three months later, coach Nick Saban picked him to become the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator after Florida Atlantic hired Lane Kiffin as its head coach.

Sarkisian got a one-game head start on the job when Kiffin left early to take over the FAU program. Sarkisian called the shots against Clemson during the CFP national-championship game, in which the Tigers topped the Tide 35-31.

That turned out to be Sarkisian’s only game as the Alabama offensive coordinator. On Feb. 7, 2017, he left the Tide to take the job with the Falcons.


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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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