The Alabama football tenure of Steve Sarkisian was short. Cut short, not by failure but by opportunity. Sark now battles elsewhere, on and off the field.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban is a practicing Catholic. Saban has many exceptional qualities, but he is not a Patron Saint of Lost Souls. Still, Saban took Steve Sarkisian in, when Sark needed an avenue to redemption.
Much has been conjectured about Sarkisian’s exit from Alabama football, after only coaching one Crimson Tide game. Some of the rumors are too implausible to justify inclusion in this discussion.
Sark did leave Alabama football abruptly. Some suggested he was pushed out by Saban after the Tide’s offensive failures against Clemson. Nothing Saban said at the time, suggests Sark was pushed out. Sarkisian, as reported al.com, had this to say.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to Coach Saban and everybody at the University of Alabama. It’s a tremendous organization. He’s not only a great coach but a great man. I’m fortunate that I was able to work for him in the past six months. I’m fortunate to call him a friend and I really appreciate all he did for me.”
Sarkisian had another opportunity and took it. Recently he commented on his first few months with the Atlanta Falcons. His goal is to maintain the high-point production of the Falcons. From a nbcsports.com report:
Sarkisian noted while saying he wants to find ways for Jones to make an impact when the chance presents itself. “when you have a player like Julio, it’s making sure we maximize his opportunities because there is so much double-coverage, there are so many unique coverages that roll his way that when we don’t get that, let’s make sure he’s one of the primary receivers on that play because it is such a tough matchup for anybody one on one.”
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The Falcons were the NFL’s highest-scoring team last season, but only ninth in the league in red-zone production. Sarkisian believes the solution to that deficiency is former Alabama player and current best receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones.
According to the falcoholic.com, Jones also appreciates his new coach.
“Sark’s a great OC, real chill, players’ coach, he listens. He’s not stuck in his ways or anything like that … he’s easy to communicate with.”
In a way, the circumstances are such that a connection to Alabama football could help save Sarkisian again. That statement is made in full support of Sarkisian winning his battle with alcoholism, From everything we have read, he is doing well.
Sarkisian said “recovery” was an ongoing process. “It’s going great. I don’t really want to get into the specific side of that stuff, but it is going really well …I’m comfortable with it. It is something that is daily, and there’s varying degrees of what I do each day. But the reality of it is, it’s gone really well. And I’m in a great place.”
Many of us Alabama football fans root for the success of the Falcons because of Julio Jones and Courtney Upshaw. We should do the same for Steve Sarkisian, in and away from the game of football.