Update: Dan Quinn says “zero chance” that Steve Sarkisian will be able to leave Falcons to join Seahawks as new OC
After firing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on Tuesday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is rumored to be interested in bringing in perhaps the most notable assistant of his career: Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
If Steve Sarkisian ends up as Seattle OC as many expect in coaching circles, look for Jedd Fisch to emerge as a top candidate in Atlanta— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 10, 2018
Seahawks fans may be somewhat familiar with Sarkisian, but Washington Huskies fans definitely will be. Sarkisian coached the Huskies from 2009-2013 after having spent four years under Carroll at USC as a QB coach, including two as offensive coordinator/assistant head coach. Sarkisian left before Washington’s 2013 bowl game to return to USC, where he replaced Carroll’s successor, Lane Kiffin.
He went 9-4 in his first year with the Trojans, finishing almost exactly the same in the AP poll (20th) as they did the year before (19th) with three different head coaches. In 2014, Sarkisian was placed on a leave of absence and then fired after issues related to alcohol. There were some rumors that he may have even been drunk during at least one USC practice/meetings.
That didn’t really hurt his career too badly though, as he soon picked up a job as an Alabama assistant under Nick Saban (again replacing Kiffin as OC for their bowl game), and left shortly thereafter to become the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons; Sarkisian was replacing Kyle Shanahan, another son of a notable NFL coach. The Falcons offense got considerably less effective with Sarkisian, but it was very likely that it would have done that even if Shanahan had stayed instead of going to the San Francisco 49ers.
In his one season as an NFL offensive coordinator, working for former Carroll assistant Dan Quinn, Atlanta finished eighth in yards, 15th in points, and ninth in DVOA.
The Seahawks may also promote Tom Cable to offensive coordinator, a scenario that to many Seattle fans would be much, much worse than a hiring of Sarkisian.