The Atlanta Falcons were a popular Super Bowl pick by idiots the world over and they ended up being a huge disappointment, going just 7-9 and sitting at home as teams jockey for a chance to play in the Super Bowl ... in Atlanta.
That wasn't going to sit well with owner Arthur Blank, but he has decided not to fire coach Dan Quinn, instead ordering wholesale changes that include the firing of oft-maligned offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
Sark is out despite the Falcons finishing with a pretty darn good offensive season in his second year. Matt Ryan looked comfortable after a nightmare 2017 season, completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns and 8.1 yards per attempt. All of those are the second-highest totals of Ryan's career, behind only his 2016 MVP season. It's just hard to reconcile the decision to can Sark with Ryan's production, especially when Devonta Freeman was lost for the season early on and Calvin Ridley appeared to really develop as a rookie.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will interview for the vacant job. Bevell is "well positioned" to score the job per JLC -- he previously worked with Quinn in Seattle.
Falcons will be bringing in Darrell Bevell to interview for their OC opening. As i have been reporting, he is very well positioned to land that job— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 31, 2018
Oddly enough, Bevell was one of the guys fired last year when Pete Carroll cleaned house. Quinn is basically taking the same approach. Whoever is hired next will be Ryan's fifth offensive coordinator, following behind Mike Mularkey, Dirk Koetter, Kyle Shanahan and Sarkisian.
It certainly feels like this is a bit of scapegoating, especially when you add in the dismissal of defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.
The Falcons were hot garbage on defense this year, so the Manuel move makes some sense. But they were absolutely brutalized by injury on that side of the ball. Deion Jones and Keanu Neal -- maybe the two most important pieces to Quinn's defense -- suffered injuries early in the season. Ricardo Allen was also lost for the year early on.
Quinn offered up typical coachspeak when discussing the moves, calling the moves "difficult decisions" and praising the three guys he fired as "excellent" coaches.
"We know we have a group of players here we are excited about and in order for us to consistently play true to our identity in all three phases we thought we needed some changes," Quinn said.
There won't be many excuses moving forward though, as Quinn will assume the role of defensive coordinator, according to the team.
Moves like these are basically precursors to a coach possibly being fired. Quinn is giving himself full responsibility for what happens in 2019 and you can bet that if things go south again next year, there are going to be more meaningful changes.
Blank certainly believed he would have a chance to play in a Super Bowl in his home stadium. He's probably steamed about the situation. Imagine how he'll feel if the Saints represent the NFC in Atlanta come February.