Report: Steve Sarkisian Will Join Alabama Staff Despite Cardinals OC Offer

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 13, 2019

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Nick Saban (L) and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian of the Alabama Crimson Tide stand on the sideline during the second half of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who was reportedly connected to the Arizona Cardinals for the same position, will rejoin Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, per Dianna Russini of ESPN:

Sarkisian was Alabama's offensive coordinator in 2016 before joining the Falcons in the same capacity.

Under Sarkisian, the Alabama offense averaged 38.8 points per game, which was the 16th-best mark in Division I-FCS. The Crimson Tide reached the national championship but lost to Clemson.

Earlier on Saturday, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that it was unlikely Sarkisian would head to Arizona:

While it's not yet clear what position Sarkisian would be taking at Alabama, Aaron Suttles of The Athletic doesn't believe he'll be the offensive coordinator again:

Barrett Sallee of CBSSports.com felt the same way:

Still, 'Bama needs coaching reinforcements on offense.

Co-offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is now the head coach at Maryland. His counterpart, Josh Gattis, is now the Michigan offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach Dan Enos is now the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami.

Sarkisian may conceivably assume the offensive coordinator position he held in 2016 with those three coaches elsewhere. If so, he'll be in command of an offense that averaged 45.6 points per game, which was third in Division I-FBS. Quarterback and Heisman finalist Tua Tagovailoa will return, and the same goes for his top three receivers (Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs III).

Alabama opens the 2019 season against Duke on August 31 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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