Report: Steve Sarkisian to return to Alabama; QB coach is very likely
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Hold tight people, the coaching carousel has a new twist.
After being let go by the Atlanta Falcons to conclude the 2018 season, it was thought that Steve Sarkisian would fully accept a position with the Arizona Cardinals as offensive coordinator.
However, ESPN has reported that the 44-year-old looks to return to Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama.
While his job on staff has not been made known, Sarkisian was not prepared for the lone game he called at offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide in the 2016 season: the 2017 College Football Playoff title game versus Clemson.
RELATED: Dan Enos explains why leaving Alabama for Miami is needed for him
He would be offered the position of play caller for the Falcons after the matchup, and things were not fruitful for the California native in the National Football League. In his two seasons in Atlanta, the team struggled to be consistent on offense and didn’t make the playoffs in 2018.
Since losing six of his assistants on offense to different schools, Saban is trying to fill roles at offensive coordinator, quarterbacks’ coach, wide receivers’ coach and offensive line coach.
According to sources, Touchdown Alabama Magazine has been told that Sarkisian is being looked at for quarterbacks’ coach.
Prior to Dan Enos leaving for Miami, he served in the role this past season.
Besides grooming signal callers, another positive thing with Sarkisian is that he is an ace recruiter. Should the Tide lose its West Coast ace in Tosh Lupoi, it will have another guy to rely on.
Since his days at University of Southern California as a quarterbacks’ coach, Sark has mentored eight 3,000-yard passing seasons in his collegiate tenure.
Both Matt Leinart and Cody Kessler of USC totaled a pair of 3,000-yard passing years with Sark. Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, recorded 3,556 yards with 38 touchdowns to nine interceptions in the Trojans’ run to a national championship in 2003.
Sarkisian also helped Carson Palmer win a Heisman in 2002.
3,000-yard passers under Sarkisian
Carson Palmer (USC): 3,942 yards in 2002
Matt Leinart (USC): 3,556 yards in 2003
Matt Leinart (USC): 3,815 yards in 2005
John Davis Booty (USC): 3,347 yards in 2006
Mark Sanchez (USC): 3,207 yards in 2008
Keith Price (Washington): 3,063 yards in 2011
Cody Kessler (USC): 3,826 yards in 2014
Cody Kessler (USC): 3,536 yards in 2015
With Kliff Kingsbury getting the head coaching job at Arizona, he will be calling the plays for quarterback Josh Rosen and the Cardinals on offense. It will be interesting to see what Sark’s role will be at Alabama.
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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.