After a disappointing 7-9 season, the Atlanta Falcons announced the firings of offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams coach Keith Armstrong on Monday afternoon.
“While these are difficult decisions, 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,” Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn said in a release.
The Atlanta Falcons said Quinn will assume the role of defensive coordinator. In 2016, Quinn briefly took over the defense after firing Richard Smith.
The Falcons ranked eighth in the NFL scoring defense (19.7 points a game) last season but ranked 25th this year (26.4) while being ravaged by injuries to key defensive stars. Atlanta also gave up an average of 66.1 yards more each game this year compared to last season.
“Sark has shown he’s a good coach and play caller,” Quinn said in his statement. “After evaluating the entire season, I decided it was necessary that we had a new voice and direction for our offensive unit. I have a ton of respect for Sark, both personally and professionally, and I appreciate all he’s done during his time here.”
The Falcons lost guards Andy Levitre (bicep) and Brandon Fusco (right ankle) to season-ending injuries. Running back Devonta Freeman suffered a groin injury that kept him on the shelf for the majority of the 2018 campaign.
Atlanta’s offense finished 10th in scoring (25.9 points a game), which was an improvement over last season’s total of 22.1 (tied for 14th).
Thursday afternoon, the Falcons will hold their end-of-season press conference at Flowery Branch.