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ESPN's Salisbury decides to remain in studio


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TV-radio sports: ESPN's Salisbury decides to remain in studio

Judd Zulgad

Published January 23, 2004 SPTV23

The only thing surprising about Sean Salisbury's decision to turn down Dennis Green's offer to become the Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks coach is that it took him so long.

The former Vikings quarterback thought long and hard about leaving the comfort of his job as an NFL analyst at ESPN to join his ex-coach in trying to resurrect one of the league's worst franchises. He finally said no last weekend.

"I had coaches call me and say, 'You're not that stupid, Sean,' " Salisbury said. "It happened with a handful of guys, and I appreciated their input."

The coaches had a good point. Why would a guy pulling down a handsome salary to talk about a sport he loves want to put himself in a potentially lower-paying job with far less security?

"The fact you hear all the time is that once you leave the game you are never that close again as far as the competitive feeling of walking through the tunnel [on game day]," Salisbury said. "Denny made that point to me and said, 'I'd love to walk through the tunnel with you again.' . . . The only reason I considered going back was because of Denny and the competition of going to the locker room and watching the result on Sunday."

Green and Salisbury had been colleagues at ESPN, and Green told Salisbury he would be interested in having him join his staff the next time he got a coaching job. Green called Salisbury shortly after being named the Cardinals coach this month.

"I flew out there and we visited for a long time," Salisbury said. "I'm forever grateful. I love Denny, and he has always been true to me. I'm not closing the door on [coaching] at all. Denny said the door is always open. A couple of years from now, who knows?

"I know that offense and would love the challenge of having the chance to turn things around. But after meeting with Denny and my bosses at ESPN, I decided this is too good a situation to leave."


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