Steve Sarkisian responds to Kurt Warner’s critique of his playcalling
Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian responded on Thursday to a critique from Kurt Warner.
Warner, a former two-time NFL MVP, was among the many people to criticize the Falcons’ playcalling during an 18-12 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles during Thursday’s NFL season opener last week. Warner specifically said that the Eagles ran the same defense all four times during a game-sealing red-zone stand at the end of the game. He questioned why the Falcons did not overload the Eagles’ defense, which he termed a zone defense.
The @Eagles ran same D on each of those last 4 snaps in RZ… how the @AtlantaFalcons didn’t come up w/ a better play than those? They played 7 across – needed to attack 1 zone w/ 2 guys & it’s an easy TD – they kept sending guys 2 different zones??? Beat zone by overloading it!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) September 7, 2018
On Thursday, Sarkisian responded by pointing out that Warner’s recognition/analysis of the Eagles’ defense was incorrect.
“It was bracket coverage,” Sarkisian said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “They were doubling No. 3 on the right-hand side and No. 2 on the left-hand side. It wasn’t a zone defense. I’m sorry Kurt Warner, Coach.”
Warner said this in response:
Haha – I’ll be showing on Gameday morning this week! You can call it a combo zone with man principals depending on who was running which route… but I will also show that it’s not all on Sark like many think!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) September 13, 2018
Maybe Warner’s analysis of Philly’s defense was wrong, but what nobody denies is Atlanta’s red-zone struggles under Sarkisian. The team’s season ended last year in the same way it began this year — by failing to score against the Eagles in the red zone. A lot of that responsibility falls upon Sark. His ability to analyze what Philly was doing on defense so well, as articulated by his response, should mean it would be easier for him to pick apart and beat it. Apparently that’s easier said than done.