Tennessee coaching search: Day 18

Tennessee coaching search: Day 18

Football

Tennessee coaching search: Day 18

KNOXVILLE — The Atlanta Falcons are 4-9 in Dan Quinn’s fourth season as head coach.

The Falcons went 10-6 in 2017, 11-5 in 2016 and 8-8 in 2015 under Quinn.

During his Atlanta tenure, Quinn had Kyle Shanahan (2015-16) as offensive coordinator and Steve Sarkisian (2017-18) is currently in the role.

Sarkisian spent time at Alabama in 2016 as an offensive analyst and filled in as offensive coordinator for the national championship game against Clemson following Lane Kiffin’s early departure to FAU.

Sarkisian’s brief stint in Tuscaloosa was during Jeremy Pruitt’s first season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator.

With Tennessee’s coaching search being in its 18th day to replace offensive coordinator Tyson Helton, an Atlanta insider discussed Sarkisian’s status with Vols Wire if Quinn will make a move on his staff after a season that has not gone as planned, or if a change at head coach could happen.

Vols Wire was told that “it would not be surprising if changes were made.”

“It would not be a surprise with Sarkisian,” the Atlanta insider said. “Arthur Blank is going to put some pressure on the head coach to make some changes. Blank is a hands on guy. It is going to be an interesting rest of December and January.

“If Quinn is brought back, he probably knows that injuries hurt the team and also knows that the team needs to step up in certain areas. You have two of the top receivers in the league and a good quarterback, you should be doing better offensively.”

With the direction of Atlanta’s season and changes that could be on the horizon, Sarkisian could be available for various jobs including a return to college.

The Atlanta insider said “the big thing about assistant coaching hires in college football, it is all about relationships.”

Since Tennessee’s search continues with less than a week from the Early Signing Period beginning on Dec. 19 and ending on Dec. 21, the insider says “now is a little too late in hiring someone with the last official visit weekend here.”

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