UPDATE 8:07 PM: Sarkisian was in fact offered the job by the Cardinals, but turned it down to go back to coach under Nick Saban at Alabama, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
7:15PM: We heard yesterday that the Cardinals were “closing in on” Steve Sarkisian to be their new offensive coordinator, but that’s apparently no longer the case. Sarkisian is now “unlikely to be joining Kliff Kingsbury’s staff”, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).
It’s unclear what made the talks break down, but it looks like Sark won’t be headed to the desert. Kingsbury was hired earlier this week in one of the biggest surprise coaching hires of the cycle. The team hired Vance Joseph to be their defensive coordinator yesterday. Sarkisian was fired as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator after Atlanta had a disappointing 7-9 season.
Before that, Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator at Alabama and head coach at USC. He’s also been linked to the Lions’ OC opening, so it’s highly possible he’ll still land a gig. Matt Ryan still put up good numbers in Sarkisian’s offense, but red zone efficiency was always a problem, and the team struggled to run the ball.
Things just never looked the same for Atlanta’s offense after Kyle Shanahan left, and Sarkisian quickly drew the ire of fans. It’ll be interesting to see who Kingsbury hires instead, as they’ve also been linked to Texas State coach Jake Spavital, as well as former Giants coach Ben McAdoo.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.