Part II: What Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian had to say

Falcons offensive coordinator had not spoken to the local media since being hired in February. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Falcons offensive coordinator had not spoken to the local media since being hired in February. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian met with the local media in person for the first time since being hired in February on Wednesday.

Part I: What Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian had to say

Here’s the second part of what he had to say:

ON HIS RECOVERY FROM ALCOHOLISM AND BEING BACK IN COACHING: "It's amazing. I just got goose bumps thinking about it. I love the game of football. I love coaching football. I love being with these players, with these coaches. I love putting in the work, working on something and then on Sunday afternoon seeing it come to life and play out the way it does and see the excitement that the players have on a touchdown. That stuff is very gratifying to me. I don't know if I necessarily didn't have it, but when you step away from the game for a little bit and you get to be back part of it at such a high level, with such great players, I think my gratitude is really high. I'm excited. I'm grateful for the opportunity and I really just try to maximize every day. Enjoy every day and bring the best version of Steve Sarkisian in the building every day for these guys. They deserve it."

ON THE FALCONS' VETTING PROCESS: "Obviously, it was so public. I'd be naïve to think I could shy away from it …just be up front. That's something that I really tried to focus on in my time away from the game, to making sure that I was really being authentic in my approach to a lot of things, whether it be my job, my personal life or whatever that is. This is just another way for me to be authentic in my life, is to say hey, 'this is who I am.' You know, the reality of it is things happen to all of us in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. How we respond to those things ultimately defines us and the character that we have, what we are about and who we are. That's just been my approach from day one. It was my approach with (Falcons head coach) Dan (Quin) and (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff). It's been my approach with the players. My feeling is, at this point, now if I can be that guy that can help one other person, what a great deal that I get from me that I get to offer something to somebody else. If it's one, two, 10 or 20, I don't know. I've got a long life still to live. But the reality of it is everything happens for a reason. This is my life. It has taken the course that it has. I'm grateful for this opportunity that I get to now, offer something back from a tough time. Which it was."

ON RECOVERY AS A PUBLIC FIGURE: "I think the reality of it is so much of recovery is private. So much of it is, 'Boy, I don't want people to know this is what I suffering from.' In my case, I didn't have that choice of saying 'I want to keep this private' or not. I just accepted it. I accepted that this is the way my recovery is going to go. There is no point in trying to not express that I'm in recovery, how would that look? So, let's just be authentic. Let's be up front. Take it as it is. The end result is that maybe I help somebody else. It might be a public figure who's struggling with maybe the same things that I struggle from, if that's the case, then that's a win."

ON DISCUSSING IT WITH THE PLAYERS: "First and foremost, they all knew. Anybody in the sports world, from the football world, knew. It wasn't like I needed to disclose. But again, me being here in this building, and I made this clear with Dan and Dan and I or on the same page, this isn't about me Steve Sarkisian. This is about the Atlanta Falcons. There wasn't a big public address announcement. This was more of when those moments come up when I can have subtle discussions, some deeper than others, I have them. I think the players are very appreciative of that and that they can talk to me whether if it's something in their own lives or whether if it pertains to me or if they are just getting to know how I dealt with it. I think it's good for all parties involved."

ON HIS SUPPORT FROM FORMER PLAYERS: "For me, that's why I coach. I really value my connections with the players. That's one thing that was so attractive to me, being part of this organization because Dan feels the same way. He is very connected to the players on this team. That's how I operate. I don't want to just go sit in my office all day, go on the field and that's the only time that I see them. I like to eat with them. I like to talk to them and have a good time with them. Joke with them. Be authentic with them. That hasn't changed. So, I feel good knowing that an ex-player or player of mine's felt the same connection that I felt."

ON ALWAYS WORKING ON HIS RECOVERY: "Every day. It's a daily process. I'm doing great. Like I said, I'm fortunate to work for a guy who understands what I'm working on really has allotted me the time needed to do that and I'm in a great space. I feel really good physically. I feel really good mentally. Life is really, really good. I'm fortunate that I have this opportunity. Hopefully, I can give other people that feeling of man, here's somebody who committed themselves to doing this and their life went in this direction in a positive way. Maybe that's something that I can do, too. It's worked out really well for me."

ON HIS FORMER COLLEGE PLAYER DESMOND TRUFANT: "It's great for me. When I got the head job at the University of Washington, Desmond was just about the first visit that I went on. He was in Tacoma. I went to his house and I don't think he was leaning toward Washington's way at the time. I felt like, I'm the coach at Washington and here's the best player in the state and he's not going to come to Washington. I've got to do something about that. So, I've always had a great connection with Desmond. He's always been a tough, hard-nosed player. Then to see him have the success that he's had, be a Pro Bowler and get this really cool contract a few months back, I'm just really happy for him. I thought what was unique, Q asked him a question in the team meeting the other day, I was in the back and I couldn't see Desmond's face, but I heard his voice. The way he answered it was exactly the way he spoke when he was 18. It was that same kind of ….relaxed (answer). But you know when he gets between the lines, he's going to play hard. It's good to see a lot of the Huskies that are here in the building that compete so hard."

ON DERRICK COLEMAN PLAYING WITH A DISABILITY: "With Derrick, first of all I commend him for getting this far in life as he's gotten and be as successful as he's been with the disability. You'd never know that would be something that would hold him back. We did a lot with our fullback, with Pat (DiMarco) a year ago. We'll continue to do that with Derrick. We motion him. We move him all over the field. We align him and we ask him to do a lot of different things in the run game. The big thing is recognizing it and understanding it. Myself and the quarterback, to make sure that the communication is really sharp, really clear and on point so that again that we are putting Derrick in the best position to be successful. Everybody has different (things) that we try to focus on to maximize their capabilities. That happens to be Derrick. We haven't had issues with it. He's been really dialed in. He's obviously performed at a high level in this league previously. We are excited to have him. Beyond that, he's a really good fit for what we do. He's a very athletic fullback, his ability to adjust on the move. He recognizes defenses really well. From being a running back in college, he understands what the runner looks at and can block it accordingly. He has really good hands and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's got a high football IQ. He's not only going to help us offensively, he can help us on special teams. He's a really good addition for us."

ON THE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS HE'S INHERITED: "I've coached some pretty good players on some pretty good teams, fortunately. Some guys in their careers don't get the chance that I have had to coach the type of players that I've had. So, that part isn't as foreign to me. I've got it on a one-week basis last year at Alabama in the national championship game…I don't try to look at it like man this is how it was done and I have to be this way. I just try to be the best Steve Sarkisian every day for the betterment of the organization, the team and coaches and not worry about if I don't do this, that is a fail. If I don't do that, this is a fail. Or, I need to do this better than this so that I get recognition. I'm kind of beyond that. I've been through a lot and I've coached at a really high level early on in my career and all the way through. I'm not kind of keeping score if that makes sense. It's more about what do we need from a team aspect so that we can try to win every football game and hopefully win that last game. I don't know if I could have said that 10 years ago. Ten years ago when you're trying to move up the ladder in the profession…but I've been able to achieve a lot. I think now, as I've said previously, I went in the locker room at halftime of my career in my life, how do I want to play the second half? Coming out of the locker room, this is about the team. Doing it, what I think is for the betterment of the team."