Will Mike Mularkey still be the Titans’ head coach “moving forward”?

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Last Sunday, Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk issued a statement aimed at clarifying the status of coach Mike Mularkey. At first blush, it did. On closer inspection, it didn’t.

Just to eliminate any distractions moving forward, Mike Mularkey is our head coach and will be our head coach moving forward,” Strunk said in a prepared document that she and the organization had as much time as they needed or wanted to craft.

The proximity of “moving forward” in reference to “distractions” (which implies a short-term focus) to another use of “moving forward” (which in isolation implies nothing) suggests a premeditated effort to reserve the right to make “moving forward” as temporary as a movie rental. And it has done little to knock down speculation regarding the possibility of the first coaching change for a team that made it to the round of eight since the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer after his team went 14-2 in 2006.

As to the issue of distractions, it’s not clear who was actually experiencing them, other than Mularkey and his staff. Tight end Delanie Walker said during a visit to PFT Live this week that the status of Mularkey simply wasn’t an issue in the locker room.

It definitely wasn’t an issue in the locker room after Saturday’s 21-point loss to the Patriots, with none of the team-distributed quotes from Mularkey or any players even mentioning the coach’s status.

Ownership hasn’t revisited the issue, either. If the Titans are keeping him, they can stand on the statement issued last week, vague as it may be. If they’re not, don’t be surprised if they use the cover of Sunday’s playoff games to issue a fresh statement indicating that the clock has moved past “forward” — especially with talk of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels joining the Colts gathering more and more steam.

The bigger question is whether the Titans would move on from Mularkey only if they know they can get McDaniels, or whether the Titans are willing to make the change and launch a traditional search.

27 responses to “Will Mike Mularkey still be the Titans’ head coach “moving forward”?

  1. If so, I hope he’s plannIng on firing the rest of his offensive coaching staff. Mariota and the scheme need “real” coaching.

  2. Just awkward to watch that late second quarter drive and not wonder how the guy keeps his job going forward.
    Managing the clock and timeouts and proper play calling are coaching decisions and not managing those well at all puts your team at a competitive disadvantage. That shouldn’t happen at this level.

    I’m with the crowd looking for the Titans to move on from Mularkey.

  3. Altho the refs gave us 2 horrendous calls to sway the 2nd quarter for robert kraft whos money is spread all over the league….mularkey is a good guy…but a football idiot….pull the trigger jon robinson…goin for it on 4th with a henry runto give brady the ball on the 50 with 20 seconds left in a 14 point game was horrendous…we were getting ball after halftime

  4. and ps the moron cut the fullback halfway abt 4 games before the end of the season and all he does is run the ball…1 of the best fullbacks in the nfl jalston fowler mind u

  5. If the Titans are smart they will fire Mularkey and go hard after Josh McDaniels. They are ruining a young QB with a terrific skillset in Mariotta. The NFL is a QB league and they need to focus their HC position on who can make MM right going forward.

  6. I usually don’t call out opposing coaches because they’re pros and I am a fan but Mularkey was ill prepared, blamed the refs, and didn’t adjust to what the Patriots were doing on offense or defense. Only he, Rex Ryan and Romo thought they would be able to run on the Patriots.

  7. Once they called their last timeout before the half it was time to punt and play to receive the second half kickoff. That wasn’t aggressive play calling it was ill advised foolishness.

  8. How often does the old “fire a coach after a winning season” thing really work the way these owners (often cheered on by the media and fans) think it will? On the other hand, having a revolving door of coaches is never good.

  9. The stark difference in skillsets between Mularkey and McDaniels was displayed yesterday. The Titans deserve a coach and staff that can take them to the Super Bowl. Does anyone think that head coach is Mularkey? The Titans are wasting the best years of Mariotta’s professional life. Moreover, McDaniels, Shurmur and Patricia will not be available next year so if the Titans ownership evaluates those coaches as generational talents (as Kraft saw Belichick), they have no alternative but to fire Mularkey and move to grab one of the best coaching trios in decades. Of course, the Titans owners may be of the Haslam school of football and deny reality until the Titans become a joke like Cleveland.

  10. “And it has done little to knock down speculation regarding the possibility of the first coaching change for a team that made it to the round of eight since the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer after his team went 14-2 in 2006”

    John Fox says hi

  11. It’s really funny to to see Titans fans complaining about refs. The Titans only have refs to thank for being in this game in the first place.

  12. I’m not a fan of Mularkey’s at all, and I wish they’d replace him, but if Mularkey was Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator and Josh McDaniel was the Titans’ coach, most of us would be saying fire McDaniel and replace him with Mularkey. We’re not a sophisticated bunch here.

  13. As a fan of this team going back to the Oiler days, I was disappointed with the installment of Mularkey as head coach when it happened and he has done little to make me believe the team can advance under his leadership.
    Changing head coaches is never a guarantee for improvement, however I’m am convinced that it is time for the Titans to move on from Mr Mularkey.

  14. Mularkey shouldn’t keep his job based on beating Kansas City or lose his job based on getting blown out in Foxboro. He’s an average NFL coach. There’s really no reason to fire him unless they believe that they can do better with that very pedestrian roster.

  15. Bring back Jeff Fisher! Or better yet, bring back Wade Phillips (son on Bum)!

    Jerry Glanville, anyone? I still remember his great quip on an NFL Films clip to a ref: “you know what NFL means? It means’ not for long”…

    Shoot, the Bears already got the “Buddy-Gilbride” dynamic restarted…

    Seriously, if they’re going to axe Mularkey (who, I agree, was not an inspired choice from the start), it better be for a HC with deep HC experience, whether that’s pro or college.

  16. charliecharger says:
    January 14, 2018 at 10:55 am

    I’m not a fan of Mularkey’s at all, and I wish they’d replace him, but if Mularkey was Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator and Josh McDaniel was the Titans’ coach, most of us would be saying fire McDaniel and replace him with Mularkey. We’re not a sophisticated bunch here

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Agree on the McDaniels point. As a Broncos fan, I’ve seen first hand that without Tom Brady and Bill Belechick, McDaniels is a bad coach. He tried to run the Broncos with the “Patriot Way” model and without Belichick, it was a total failure. Without the rings and prestige, his bold roster moves came off as arrogant and short-sighted. Tebow in the first round? The guy was a third round project at best.

  17. “Without the rings and prestige, his bold roster moves came off as arrogant and short-sighted.”
    _________________

    All true but he may well have learned from that failure plus he likely (hopefull) wouldn’t be handed personnel control at his next job. Really a mistake by the Broncos handing all the control to a guy that young. If somebody above him had simply said “No, we’re not stripping down the third-rated offense in the league and rebuilding it from the ground up” McDaniels’ time in Denver might have went quite a bit differently.

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