John David Booty discusses Steve Sarkisian

John David Booty discusses Steve Sarkisian

Football

John David Booty discusses Steve Sarkisian

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee’s coaching search is in day No. 25 to replace offensive coordinator Tyson Helton who left to become Western Kentucky’s head coach.

As UT’s search continues, former USC quarterback John David Booty (2003-07) discussed his former coach Steve Sarkisian with Vols Wire.

Sarkisian is currently the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator. Sarkisian worked with Jeremy Pruitt at Alabama in 2016 while serving as an analyst and offensive coordinator during the national championship game. His Atlanta job status will be in question as the final games unfold during a season in which the Falcons are 5-9 with two games remaining.

“I do not think Sark is the problem,” Booty told Vols Wire regarding his former coach at Atlanta.

With Atlanta looking at the possibility of making staff changes after the season, Booty says “not winning games is ultimately the issue.”

If Sarkisian were to be part of changes on Atlanta’s staff, the former USC and Washington head coach could make a return to college.

“My guess is that he is enjoying the NFL life and not dealing with recruiting and has the offseason to spend with his kids,” Booty said. “From a football perspective, I really do not know what he likes better, but being able to coach Matt Ryan is a good luxury.

“Personally I do not see how it is better for Sark to go from an offensive coordinator in the NFL to an offensive coordinator back in college. I do not see the promotion there unless he is let go.”

If Sarkisian were to make a move back to college and to a place like Tennessee, development of the quarterback position would be key for the program.

“He is phenomenal,” Booty said of Sarkisian’s ability to develop quarterbacks. “Just look at the guys at USC, just because you are a highly ranked guy does not mean it will always pan out. Consistently he was able to get production out of all the top guys that came in and I spent time with him more than anybody.

“You talk about ready to play on Saturday, we just went through so many things during the week and he covered it all. Come Saturdays there was no doubt you were prepared and it was easier on Saturdays than Tuesday through Thursdays. He was a huge part of the quarterbacks at USC and the success.”

Booty also discussed Atlanta’s offense currently and how there are a lot of similarities to USC’s offenses during their time together.

“A lot of it is the same,” Booty said. “He has morphed it a little bit being a decade ago and added new wrinkles. Watching their zone runs, slides with the full backs and receivers coming in motion were all stuff that we did. The game has changed even since I played and he has added to his system. There is still a lot of the base stuff that we used to do that you are seeing on Sundays.”

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