Why Do Football Fans Hate Steve Sarkisian?
Does anyone understand why Football fans don't like Steve Sarkisian?
If you're wondering who Steve Sarkisian is, well, he was recently fired by the Atlanta Falcons where he was the Offensive Coordinator overseeing one of the league's Top 10 Offenses. His departure was cheered wildly by the Atlanta fanbase for reasons I don't quite understand.
Yet it pails with the reaction this weekend (Jan 12th-13th) when word got out he was possibly going to be Kilff Kingsbury's OC with the Arizona Cardinals, only to find out he bailed on Kingsbury and will join Nick Saban's staff at Alabama.
Yeah, sure, we all know how much smarter fans on Social Media are. They know football better than anyone.
Part of the trepidations comes from 2017 when Sarkisian---got promoted to Offensive Coordinator from "Consultant" after the departure of Lane Kiffin. Bama proceeded to lose the National Championship Game to Clemson, through no fault of the Coach, yet the fan base clearly blames the guy.
As for his time with the Falcons, I never understood the hate. He came into the 2017 season without NFL Experience to take over an offense that scored at a near historic rate under Kyle Shanahan the season before and had gone to the Super Bowl (they lost).
Yes, the Falcons despite being loaded with talent---on paper---took some major steps back on Offense and did not produce well though the team did return to the playoffs, winning a game before losing in the Divisional Round to Philadelphia.
In 2018, the Falcons were pretty good on Offense finishing 4th in Passing Offense and 10th in Points Per Game an improvement for sure. But they struggled to run the ball and the team fired both Sarkisian and Defensive Coordinator Marquand Manuel.
Listen, the guy is an accomplished coach who's worked his way through the ranks yet gets no credit from the fans everywhere he's been.
He spent his early career coaching the QB's in Oakland at a time when the Raiders compiled huge passing statistics.
He would then land at USC where he became Offensive Coordinator for a very good Trojan squad that finished the regular season 12-0 before losing in a crazy good game vs. Texas in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship.
That got him the Head Coaching job at a struggling Washington Husky team that he managed to improve...albeit marginally. He went 34-29 in 5 seasons which got him a shot at going back to USC as Head Coach.
The Trojans went 9-4 his first season and his second was cut woefully short after word leaked out he had a Drinking Problem. The problem cost him the job and nearly cost him his career.
He would be one of Nick Saban's first ever "Consultants"---paid a small amount of money to observe and deconstruct game footage and analyze things for Alabama Football.
What I don't get---is how all of this makes the guy hated? Why do people not respect the job he's done. There are FAR, far more incompetent coaches out there. Heck, Saban somehow rehabilitated Mike Locksley's career after hiring the former New Mexico Head Coach and eventually promoting him to Offensive Coordinator.
Somehow Locksley became a "Hot" Head Coaching candidate who landed at Maryland despite having a career 3-31 record as a Head Coach with a history of NCAA Rules problems.
I know Coaches are always the people to blame when players aren't executing. It's never a lack of performance by the athletes, it's always the coach.
I'm not sitting here, typing this column and saying Steve Sarkisian is a Coaching genius and will make any team he's a part of awesome. I don't really know. But....what I am saying is "Why do people hate a guy for taking a job and then say awful things about him before he's actually done anything?"
Oh, wait, it's the hate filled world of Social Media we currently live in. But that's another story for another day.