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Report: Steve Sarkisian to return to Alabama; QB coach is very likely

Steve Sarkisian at CFP awards show
Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

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.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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