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Steve Sarkisian is making all the right adjustments as he reboots with Falcons

Steve Sarkisian is making all the right adjustments as he reboots with Falcons
Published On: Mon, Jun 05
Nov 3, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Antone Smith (36) hyper extends his knee after being brought down by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Cliff Matthews (not pictured) during the second half of a football game at Raymond James Stadium. Smith left the field on a flatbed cart The Falcons won 43-28. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

You expect an NFL coach to use a football analogy when talking about his life. Steve Sarkisian did just that recently as he discussed his long and winding path back into the league for the first time since 2004, one that included self-inflicted wounds on his resume, temporarily derailing a promising college coaching career.

Since he last coached in the NFL as an assistant in 2004 with the Oakland Raiders, Sarkisian appeared to be on the fast track to becoming a coaching star: Head coach at the University of Washington at the age of 34; coach of the glamorous USC program after that and a guy who had the look of a potential NFL head coach later with his innovative offensive mind.

It all unraveled for Sarkisian, and the public had a front row seat for all of it. His troubles with alcohol got the best of him, leading to his being let go by USC in 2015 after some public misbehavior that was clearly the result of drinking, coupled with his reportedly showing up for a team meeting under the influence.

Sarkisian is back in the NFL as the new offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, taking over for Kyle Shanahan, who left to become the coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Sarkisian's story will be a major one in 2017 from both a football and personal standpoint. If he can keep the Falcons' top-scoring offense from a year ago on the same level, Atlanta will once again be in the Super Bowl mix.

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