Despite falling to the New England Patriots 34-28 in Super Bowl LI on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons continue to seek ways to improve their coaching staff.

Alabama’s Sarkisian hired by falcons as offensive coordinator

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Falcons are set to hire Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who would be replacing Kyle Shanahan as play-caller.

Shanahan was named the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach late Monday.

Details of Sarkisian’s hiring are still being finalized.


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Sarkisian was promoted to offensive coordinator for Alabama last month, ahead of the BCS National Championship loss to Clemson. Lane Kiffin, who was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator during the regular season, left the program to become Florida Atlantic’s new head coach.

Sarkisian previously served as an analyst for Alabama after being dismissed as head coach of USC in October 2015. He was fired by the Trojans after allegedly arriving late for team meetings or to university events while intoxicated, according to athletic director Pat Haden. The 42-year-old subsequently checked into rehab before filing a lawsuit against USC claiming he was discriminated against due to a disability.

In Atlanta, Sarkisian will face the challenge of keeping one of the NFL’s best offenses running at a top level. Under Shanahan, MVP quarterback Matt Ryan led an offense that lead the league in scoring and trampled defenses from end-to-end until falling short in this year’s Super Bowl.

Ryan, star receiver Julio Jones, and versatile running back Devonta Freeman, among others, are set to return for the Falcons.

Sarkisian went 12-6 at USC and 34-29 at Washington, which had won only 12 games during the previous five seasons before his arrival.

TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Southern California Trojans watches warm ups prior to a game against the Arizona State University Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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