It appears that Steve Sarkisian will be reuniting with Nick Saban in some capacity.
Dianna Russini of ESPN was first with the news:
While the Arizona Cardinals offered Steve Sarkisian the offensive coordinator position, sources say he will headed back to coach with Nick Saban at Alabama.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) January 13, 2019
and Bruce Feldman adds another nugget:
Can confirm ex Falcons OC & #Alabama play-caller Steve Sarkisian is in Tuscaloosa now but not certain if any deal is in place yet to make him the Tide offensive coordinator. (Dianna Russini 1st reported about his return to the Tide staff.)— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 13, 2019
It’s tough to believe that Sark would turn down a NFL coordinator role for anything less than that at the college level, so one would have to believe that he will be the primary playcaller. Tua Tagovailoa is undoubtedly pleased with this choice. From ESPN last January:
“A lot of people will tell you that Tua had been silently committed to USC back then when [Sarkisian] was there, so this thing is really intertwined,” Kiffin said.
For whatever reason, Gumps on Twitter are losing their minds at the prospect, many of them the same folks who talked about Saban being a step ahead in having Sark as the next in line behind Kiffin. Sarkisian knows how to coordinate a college offense and can recruit on the west coast. His Atlanta Falcons offense finished #6 in the NFL this season. He is at least as accomplished an offensive coach as Dan Enos, who left Alabama to coordinate Miami’s offense earlier in the week.
Most importantly, Saban seems to be comfortable with him, and Sarkisian knows what is required to work for Saban after spending a season with him as an offensive analyst. Outside of the personal demons that he has seemingly conquered, he has always had the reputation of a consummate professional with a solid track record.
UPDATE: Two more names are emerging for the various openings.
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was also in Tuscaloosa today, according to sources. It looks like he could join the staff in some capacity even if/when Steve Sarkisian is hired as offensive coordinator https://t.co/wIOjGt0jik— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 13, 2019
One other interesting staff-related note: Butch Jones is still in Tuscaloosa and still currently working for Alabama, per sources. Seems like there's a decent chance he gets bumped up to an on-field job https://t.co/wIOjGt0jik— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 13, 2019
Long is only 35, is from Alabama and has a great reputation for his offensive acumen as well as his recruiting ability. We all know Butch at this point. As a position coach, he has covered RB, WR, and TE at various times throughout his career. Stay tuned.
Update 2: Irish Illustrated, Notre Dame’s 247 affiliate, says that Long is not coming to Alabama.