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Report: Steve Sarkisian declines Cardinals' coordinator offer, headed back to Alabama

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 1/13/2019 Frank Schwab

Video by USA Today Sports

The Arizona Cardinals wanted to make Steve Sarkisian their new offensive coordinator under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but Sarkisian is reportedly heading back to the college game.

Sarkisian declines Cardinals’ offer

Via ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Arizona offered Sarkisian a job as coordinator, but he has declined the position. Russini tweeted Saturday night that sources told her the 44-year-old will return to Alabama to coach with Nick Saban.

A little earlier Saturday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted that Sarkisian was “unlikely” to join Kingsbury’s Arizona staff.

Sarkisian was Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2016. Sirius XM’s Alex Marvez reported that the Sarkisian was “in the mix” for the Detroit Lions opening too.

The Cardinals reportedly will interview former New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo for the coordinator spot. McAdoo ran the Giants’ offense before being hired as head coach.

Fired in Atlanta

Sarkisian was fired by the Atlanta Falcons last month after two seasons as coordinator.

His tenure drew a good deal of criticism when it came to the use – or lack thereof – of superstar receiver Julio Jones. In 2017, Jones had just three touchdowns. This year, he had eight, but they all came after Atlanta’s Week 8 bye.

In 2016 under Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons had the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, at 33.75 points per game; last year, that number fell sharply, to 22.0 PPG. In 2018, it was 25.9.

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