Replacing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan seemed like it would be a tall task for Atlanta, but the team quickly shifted after the Super Bowl as the following week they announced his replacement, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian will be making his jump to the NFL from the college ranks for the first time since 2004, when he was the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders. Sarkisian last held the offensive coordinator position at the University of Alabama in which he coached in the National Championship Game. A surprise hire for many fans, Sarkisian has dealt with instability since rejoining the staff at University of Southern California as head coach from 2013-15. From influencing officiating and outcome of a contest in 2014 to showing up to practice under the influence, Sarkisian has huge shoes to fill as offensive coordinator of a team who was minutes away from a Super Bowl. He’ll have former colleague at Alabama Charlie Weiss Jr. (offensive assistant coach) to lean on who was also hired by the Falcons as a staff member.
Additionally, the team hired Kyle Flood (assistant offensive line coach), Chris Morgan and Bush Hamdan (quarterbacks coaches), and Dave Brock and Justin Outten (offensive assistants). With the Falcons firing Richard Smith and Brian Cox on the defensive side following the Super Bowl, Marquand Manuel was promoted to the defensive coordinator position, who will be helped with newly hired assistants Jess Simpson and Charlie Jackson.