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Matt Ryan opened up on going from Sark to Koetter on 680 The Fan

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Matt Ryan discusses Falcons parting ways with Steve Sarkisian, hiring Dirk Koetter on 680 The Fan

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Will McFadden

AtlantaFalcons.com

ATLANTA – For the fourth time in Matt Ryan’s career, the Atlanta Falcons have made a change at offensive coordinator. Unlike the previous three changes, however, the Falcons are bringing back someone who Ryan has worked with directly.

Dirk Koetter, who served as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator from 2012-14, was named to the role following the 2018 season, replacing Steve Sarkisian who spent two years in Atlanta.

“It’s hard,” Ryan told “The Front Row” on 680 The Fan Tuesday morning of the team moving on from Sarkisian. “I felt like I had a really good rapport with Sark, and he did a nice job for us. But, as a head coach, you feel like you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, and I respect that with Dan. He felt like he needed to make moves in order for us to be better.

“I’m excited to work with Dirk Koetter again, it felt like my time spent with him early in my career was really productive. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I think we both can be better as we move forward. But, it’s one of the parts of the job that sucks, for sure. Letting people go and having new people come in and turnover, but it’s a part of this business and you have to deal with it.”

In his three seasons working with Koetter, Ryan completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 13,928 yards with 86 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2014, and Ryan led the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game in 2012.

During the two seasons Sarkisian was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, Ryan completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 9,019 yards with 55 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

Under Dan Quinn, the Falcons have been insistent on maintaining their offensive scheme and asked that Sarkisian adjust to the terminology and style run in Atlanta rather than overhaul things in his own fashion. According to Ryan, that may also be the plan with Koetter.

“I think the terminology is going to stay the same of what we’ve been using the last four years,” Ryan said. “So it will be an adjustment for him, in terms of the terminology. But, this is the same thing that happened the last time I worked with Dirk – We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things. But, like anything there will be different influences in there and what he calls and what he likes in certain situations, how he uses guys will be different.”

The Falcons have one of the most versatile and complete group of skill position players in the NFL. Just a few years removed from boasting one of the highest-scoring offenses in league history, it’s clear Atlanta doesn’t want to make a drastic change.

If Koetter is comfortable with learning the Falcons’ terminology and making slight adjustments, Ryan says that should help the players perform at their peak level on Sundays.

“Most of the schemes in this league are really similar, it’s just how you call things, how you word things. I think the benefit for the players, and we have a lot of guys that are back, with not changing that language is it’s just easier for you out on the field. Things operate faster, so I’m excited about that.”

 

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4 minutes ago, NeonDeion said:

Ryan like everyone haha. Man is Mr. PC. So excited to have DK back. We don’t need a Shanny offense. We just need a solid offense for when DQ finally brings us that top D. 

That could be as soon as 2019. Our defense is a different animal with Neal on the field. Now add Kazee. Hopefully draft a good day line guy and we in business.

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10 minutes ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

I told you guys I really felt like Matt Ryan liked Sarkisian. Hopefully we made the right choice hiring Koetter. 

I would challenge someone to find a link to an article or video where Ryan has ever stated he "hated" or "did not like" somebody.

However, I hope he clearly gave his opinion of Koetter to TD and Quinn before bringing him back.  The last thing we need is QB-OC disagreement on this team.

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4 minutes ago, atljbo said:

It looks like Matt turned down the probowl

He chose to like his family more than a game he has been to before (and in better location).  He also probably wanted others to get a chance to go.

HASHBROWN3, atljbo, rings639 and 1 other like this

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“I think the terminology is going to stay the same of what we’ve been using the last four years,” Ryan said. “So it will be an adjustment for him, in terms of the terminology. But, this is the same thing that happened the last time I worked with Dirk – We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things. But, like anything there will be different influences in there and what he calls and what he likes in certain situations, how he uses guys will be different.”

So those expecting to see the offense from 2012, there's your answer. It's most likely NOT coming back, at least not fundamentally. Koetter may put his own flavor on it, but it's still what Shanahan started in 2015. 

I like this, a lot.

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5 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

“I think the terminology is going to stay the same of what we’ve been using the last four years,” Ryan said. “So it will be an adjustment for him, in terms of the terminology. But, this is the same thing that happened the last time I worked with Dirk – We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things. But, like anything there will be different influences in there and what he calls and what he likes in certain situations, how he uses guys will be different.”

So those expecting to see the offense from 2012, there's your answer. It's most likely NOT coming back, at least not fundamentally. Koetter may put his own flavor on it, but it's still what Shanahan started in 2015.

Terminology is just the words being used. Koetter can run his plays using Shanahans wording. Doesn't mean he's running his plays. 

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Just now, AtlantaFanatic said:

Terminology is just the words being used. Koetter can run his plays using Shanahans wording. Doesn't mean he's running his plays. 

"We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things."

I'd say that qualifies as running his plays.

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9 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

"We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things."

I'd say that qualifies as running his plays.

No. Not at all. You can see a clear difference in what Koetter ran and what Mularkey ran, on a lot of levels. Koetter is keeping the terminology. They’ll run his style of offense. 

The point Ryan made is key — everyone is really running similar things schematically. I prefer the WCO philosophy, but Koetter understands the playbook because there isn’t anything in there that other teams aren’t running. But Koetter will run the offense according to his philosophy and what he thinks is best for the players on the field. 

The sole exception to that is he may be encouraged to maintain a predominately zone blocking scheme. That won’t be a problem because he’s always used zone principles in his offense anyway. And he’ll probably be allowed to mix in gap principles as he’s always done. 

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11 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

"We were in the same system with Mike Mularkey and Dirk came in and adjusted to the terminology we were using. So I know he’s really good with that and won’t have an issue at all with how we do things."

I'd say that qualifies as running his plays.

Going to have to disagree. Maybe Mularky and Koetter ran similar systems anyway. Do you really think Koetter will take this job and just run the same plays that havent worked for 2 years?

It seems that he means the actual words will stay the same just with Koetters plays. That way players don't have to adjust to both new plays AND new language calling those new plays. 

Ergo Proxy, Geneaut and JDaveG like this

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Just now, AtlantaFanatic said:

Going to have to disagree. Maybe Mularky and Koetter ran similar systems anyway. Do you really think Koetter will take this job and just run the same plays that havent worked for 2 years?

It seems that he means the actual words will stay the same just with Koetters plays. That way players don't have to adjust to both new plays AND new language calling those new plays. 

“New plays” isn’t really a thing though. The plays Koetter will run are by and large already in the playbook. I agree with your point subject to that minor quibble. 

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1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

“New plays” isn’t really a thing though. The plays Koetter will run are by and large already in the playbook. I agree with your point subject to that minor quibble. 

Minor Quibble is my rapper name. 

falconsd56, JDaveG, Vandy and 8 others like this

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14 hours ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

That could be as soon as 2019. Our defense is a different animal with Neal on the field. Now add Kazee. Hopefully draft a good day line guy and we in business.

Man, I am so ready for next season, I don't usually get this hyped, but I think we are going to do some special things. 

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2 minutes ago, FalconinPA said:

Man, I am so ready for next season, I don't usually get this hype, but I think we are going to do some special things. 

I really really really hope your inuition is correct. 

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12 minutes ago, FalconinPA said:

Man, I am so ready for next season, I don't usually get this hype, but I think we are going to do some special things. 

Yeah, I think they get the Oline straight again. Wouldn't be surprised with one FA guard, another one early in the draft and then Sambrailo & Schreader fighting it out for the RT spot. Esp. if Schreader will take a salary reduction to stay.

Depends on if they feel his decline was mainly due to the the RG or if they think Schreader has just peaked.

The get the Oline straight, find another solid piece for the DLine early in the draft and stay healthy, they should be right back in the playoffs next year.

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2 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Yeah, I think they get the Oline straight again. Wouldn't be surprised with one FA guard, another one early in the draft and then Sambrailo & Schreader fighting it out for the RT spot. Esp. if Schreader will take a salary reduction to stay.

Depends on if they feel his decline was mainly due to the the RG or if they think Schreader has just peaked.

The get the Oline straight, find another solid piece for the DLine early in the draft and stay healthy, they should be right back in the playoffs next year.

Good post, and I agree

falconidae, Ergo Proxy and JDaveG like this

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1 hour ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

I told you guys I really felt like Matt Ryan liked Sarkisian. Hopefully we made the right choice hiring Koetter. 

Matt is most PC player on this team. Not saying he didn’t like Sark but even if he didn’t, he would say good things.

rounz, J-Nice, Atl Falcon and 2 others like this

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1 hour ago, JDaveG said:

No. Not at all. You can see a clear difference in what Koetter ran and what Mularkey ran, on a lot of levels. Koetter is keeping the terminology. They’ll run his style of offense. 

The point Ryan made is key — everyone is really running similar things schematically. I prefer the WCO philosophy, but Koetter understands the playbook because there isn’t anything in there that other teams aren’t running. But Koetter will run the offense according to his philosophy and what he thinks is best for the players on the field. 

The sole exception to that is he may be encouraged to maintain a predominately zone blocking scheme. That won’t be a problem because he’s always used zone principles in his offense anyway. And he’ll probably be allowed to mix in gap principles as he’s always done. 

Looks like this is an issue of semantics. "Running an offense according to his philosophy" to me describes play calling. It's the how, not the what. Granted, as you've demonstrated in an earlier post, I understand that certain schemes may lend themselves more to a particular style of playcalling (e.g. stretching a defense more vertically as opposed to horizontally). Nevertheless, Koetter can have his philosophy of how he likes to attack a defense and still by and large use the plays and scheme already in place. That's how I understand it.

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1 hour ago, AtlantaFanatic said:

Going to have to disagree. Maybe Mularky and Koetter ran similar systems anyway. Do you really think Koetter will take this job and just run the same plays that havent worked for 2 years?

It seems that he means the actual words will stay the same just with Koetters plays. That way players don't have to adjust to both new plays AND new language calling those new plays. 

No, Koetter isn't gonna run plays that didn't work. That isn't even my point.

But they will have to adjust to new plays if Koetter is by and large bringing back his scheme. The offense is more than just Ryan and Julio. Everyone else was pretty much brought up in what Shanahan implemented and Sark by and large continued.

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59 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

Looks like this is an issue of semantics. "Running an offense according to his philosophy" to me describes play calling. It's the how, not the what. Granted, as you've demonstrated in an earlier post, I understand that certain schemes may lend themselves more to a particular style of playcalling (e.g. stretching a defense more vertically as opposed to horizontally). Nevertheless, Koetter can have his philosophy of how he likes to attack a defense and still by and large use the plays and scheme already in place. That's how I understand it.

Correct. Mostly because the vast majority of those plays are already in Koetter’s system too. 

It’s a little more complicated than that though. Every OC will add new plays designed to take advantage of personnel. Shanahan has run (and still runs) read option, RPOs, pass plays from heavy personnel utilizing the TE, 4 verticals, etc. Before him, his daddy ran a lot of shotgun, which was hardly used by Walsh. OCs are always evolving. But the basic offense? The plays just aren’t that different. 

The run game will be the biggest issue. I’m curious to see how Koetter approaches that. I expect more inside zone, but we’ll see. 

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3 hours ago, JerseyNo12 said:

No, Koetter isn't gonna run plays that didn't work. That isn't even my point.

But they will have to adjust to new plays if Koetter is by and large bringing back his scheme. The offense is more than just Ryan and Julio. Everyone else was pretty much brought up in what Shanahan implemented and Sark by and large continued.

Right. Which is why it would be harder to do if Koetter didn't adjust to keep the same phraseology that the offense is used to. 

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