By Nick Shook
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Atlanta’s season ended in disappointing fashion, topped off by a peculiar play call on fourth and goal.
Immediately (and understandably), thousands of index fingers extended in the direction of offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. On Thursday, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn deflected blame from Sarkisian while also confirming the coordinator will return for a second season in 2018.
“Placing blame on one person would be wrong in this instance,” Quinn said, per the team. “If this was about one person, that decision would’ve already been made.”
Sarkisian returns to an offense that fell 14 places in points scored per game from 2016’s historic season to 2017, the first under the coordinator. That offense also inlcudes two talented running backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and superstar receiver Julio Jones. Oh, and we can’t forget quarterback Matt Ryan. It’s a good situation in which to work, but should be expected to be better than it was in 2017. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be back here discussing this topic again a year from now.
Speaking of Ryan, Atlanta is entering the offseason with the quarterback atop its list of priorities. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff told reporters Thursday Ryan’s next contract is the team’s main focusbefore the start of the 2018 season, adding “I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult of a negotiation,” per the team’s official site.