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Dirk Koetter counting on familiarity with QB Matt Ryan

Dirk Koetter has spent time in meetings evaluating the playbook and game film since returning to the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator.

Koetter, who served in the same role with the Falcons from 2012 to 2014, told reporters Wednesday the goal is to achieve balance, which is what head coach Dan Quinn desires.

"Since balance is the hardest thing to defend, we will shoot to be as balanced as we can," Koetter said, via the Falcons' official website. "Now, there's things like time and score and injuries that can affect that, but we're going to definitely shoot for that."

Koetter takes over a unit that has underperformed over the past two seasons despite the presence of some of the NFL's top offensive weapons, which includes quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Devonta Foreman and a potent trio of wide receivers in Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley.

What should help the offense under Koetter, however, surrounds a deep familiarity between the offensive coordinator and Ryan, and it sure sounds like the man under center will have plenty of input.

"That familiarity is going to be really important," Koetter told reporters. "One of the things I like best about Matt is every quarterback I've ever worked with, they can all tell you what they like.

"What Matt can do -- he did it when I was here the first time -- he tells you what he doesn't like and why. Just one of the things I've learned over the years is I might think something is the greatest idea known to man, if the quarterback doesn't like it, it's probably not going to go on Sunday. I think Matt will always have a huge impact on what our final game plan is when we get to that point in the season."

Koetter's vision might alleviate some of the angst that has lingered in Atlanta since Kyle Shanahan left to take over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 season.

Steve Sarkisian was hired and took over an explosive offense that came off a Super Bowl appearance and ranked first in scoring, but the Falcons regressed under Sarkisian, who was fired at the end of the 2018 season.

Meanwhile, with change comes expectations, and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff categorized the 2019 campaign as an "extremely important season."

The general manager's view on the future likely signals a sense of urgency that Koetter, Ryan and the entire offensive unit need to be on the same page sooner rather than later.

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