The Standard Journal

Falcons hire Sarkisian as offensive coordinato­r

- Associated Press Sports Writer

have plenty of weapons at his disposal.

Ryan threw for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns to become the first Falcons player to win the MVP award.

Julio Jones is one of the league’s top receivers, an All- Pro who caught 83 passes for 1,409 yards. Devonta Freeman earned Pro Bowl recognitio­n with his second straight 1,000- yard rushing season, teaming with Tevin Coleman to give Atlanta a dynamic backfield pairing.

In all, 13 players caught touchdown passes, an NFL record.

In addition to five years as Washington’s coach, the 42-year-old Sarkisian held the same job at Southern Cal. But he was f i red by t he Trojans during the 2015 season when officials said he showed up in no condition to lead practice following an embarrassi­ng public display at a pep rally where he appeared to be intoxicate­d. He later sought treatment for alcoholism.

Quinn said he has no concerns about Sarkisian’s personal life.

“We went through the process, obviously, to check and make sure everything would align with our organizati­on, i n terms of cultures and values,” Quinn said. “He’s done a fantastic job. There were zero hesitation­s, zero limitation­s.”

Sarkisian spent most of last season as an offensive analyst for Alabama. When Kiffin was hired as the head coach at Florida Atlantic, Sarkisian was designated as his replacemen­t.

Kiffin was planning to stay with the Crimson Tide through the College Football Playoff and, indeed, he coached in the Peach Bowl victory over Washington. Then, without much of an explanatio­n, he left early for his new job and Sarkisian took over for the title game against Clemson, with only a week to prepare.

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