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Steve Sarkisian's goal: For Falcons to 'win that last game'

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- So how does one take the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense and make it even better?

Welcome to Steve Sarkisian's world.

And since taking over as the Falcons' offensive coordinator on Feb.7, that's been Sarkisian's sole focus.

"Coming in, I thought to myself … these guys are really good, one of the best offenses in NFL history," Sarkisian said. "How are going to improve it?"

The Falcons finished 2016 scoring 540 points which tied the 2000 Rams for the seventh-most an NFL club has ever scored in a single season. They were also the first team to average over 33 points per game since 2013 (Broncos 37.9).

Sarkisian's plan of attack requires him to concentrate on three main areas: Player development, studying the intricacies of the scheme the Falcons have in place and then breaking down each specific play.

For Sarkisian, it starts with simplifying everything – what can he do to make things as easy as possible for his players to succeed?

In order for Sarkisian to do this, its required him to devote a significant amount of time to the film room, and even more importantly, spending valuable time with each one his players.

Within the first few days of being hired, Sarkisian had a specific request for his head coach. At the time, Dan Quinn had given his coaching staff two weeks off following the season.

Sarkisian asked for each of Atlanta's games from the 2016 season to be downloaded on his iPad so he could immediately start to familiarize himself with his new team – Quinn cites this as the moment he knew Sarkisian was the right fit for the job.

Sarkisian's approach has not only been well received from his colleagues, but even more so from his players.

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Devonta Freeman have all commended the work their new offensive coordinator has put since joining the staff. Whether its them complimenting his "flexible coaching" style, or his dedication to getting to know each player through individual meetings, his approach has been appreciated.

"The thing I like about him is he's very flexible with every guy on the team," Freeman said. "I definitely think he's going to put us in the best situation to have success."

It's not by coincidence that Sarkisian has developed a connection with his guys so quickly. His entire career he's valued the importance of building a rapport with his players, and it appears to be paying off.

"I like being with the guys, I like being around the guys," Sarkisian said. "I like having a good time with them, even in the grind. I just want the best version of Steve Sarkisian today for everybody else to have."

Sarkisian hopes that by focusing on getting each player one percent better, the unit as a whole can reach new heights.

"We are here to get better," Sarkisian said. "We were close, but how can we get one percent better each day to get us over the hump to finally win that last game."

To watch the full interview with Sarkisian, see below:

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