Atlanta Falcons fire offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian
By Shona Duthie
Last Updated: 31/12/18 6:32pm
The Atlanta Falcons have relieved offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian of his duties after they missed out on the playoffs.
Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong have also been dismissed.
The moves comes after the Falcons finished the season with a record of 7-9, failing to make the playoffs - two years after reaching SuperBowl LI.
Speaking to the Falcons website, head coach Dan Quinn admitted the franchise had taken "difficult decisions".
"We know we have a group of players here we are excited about and, in order to consistently play true to our identity in all three phases, we thought we needed some changes," Quinn added.
Quinn is expected to take over defensive coordinator duties from next season.
Atlanta's defense was 25th in points per game, 28th in yards allowed per game and 31st in third-down conversion percentage.
Officially, Manuel's contract was not renewed. Quinn said he wanted his former player to be able to call plays elsewhere.
"Marquand is a talented coach and excellent teacher that I have coached with for a number of years," Quinn said.
"I believe he should have the opportunity to call plays for a defense, so we have decided to allow his contract to expire so he can explore those opportunities."
Atlanta's offense was 27th in the NFL in rushing. Losing running back Devonta Freeman to a knee injury didn't help matters.
Quinn told the team's website the Falcons made the move to part with Sarkisian after reviewing the entire season.
"Sark has shown he's a good coach and play caller," Quinn said. "After evaluating the entire season, I decided it was necessary that we had a new voice and direction for our offensive unit."
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