Amid rampant speculation regarding the future of Titans coach Mike Mularkey (and admitted concern by Mularkey himself), the Titans have given him a commitment. But what does the commitment even mean?
Consider the most important aspect of the statement from owner Amy Adams Strunk: “Just to eliminate any distractions moving forward, Mike Mularkey is our head coach and will be our head coach moving forward. We still have work to be done, including this week, but I am looking forward to the journey.”
This wasn’t an off-the-cuff, extemporaneous remark from Strunk. It was a prepared statement, written with the benefit of the ability to read it, revise it, read it, and revise it some more. And the key words — “moving forward” — appear twice in two sentences.
Just to eliminate any distractions moving forward, Mike Mularkey is our head coach and will be our head coach moving forward.
So what does “moving forward” mean? “Moving forward” this week, as they prepare to face the Patriots? Or “moving forward” into the 2018 season?
The presence of a less critical reference to “moving forward” just before the key “moving forward” makes “moving forward” even more vague. And we can only assume that the statement was intentionally vague, aimed at giving the media one less talking point (and at giving Mularkey one less stress point) as the Titans try to get back to the AFC title game for the first time since 2002.
If Mularkey is going to be the team’s coach in 2018, the Titans need to say so. Unless and until they do, it’s fair to wonder whether he may not be, and whether the Titans are simply waiting for a chance to interview, and to hire, someone like Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.