Mike Mularkey out as Titans’ head coach

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So much for Mike Mularkey being the Titans’ coach going forward.

The Titans and Mularkey are parting ways, the Titans have announced.

That news comes just 36 hours after the Titans took a serious beatdown at the hands of the Patriots in New England. Usually, when a coach is in the divisional round of the playoffs, that means his job is safe. And Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk had previously given Mularkey a vote of confidence. But as we noted yesterday, the Titans could move on from Mularkey anyway, especially if they have a coach they’re interested in hiring and know that that coach is interested in them as well.

The report says the decision between Mularkey and the Titans is “mutual,” although it’s hard to see Mularkey walking away unless he knew he didn’t have the confidence of team ownership. The Titans’ brass wasn’t sold on Mularkey, and now they’ll look for a new head coach, while Mularkey will hope some other team is interested in a coach coming off a playoff win.

103 responses to “Mike Mularkey out as Titans’ head coach

  1. Guy might not have been the best HC in the world, but the Titans used him and tossed out like trash. They have a few talented players, but overall their team has too many holes to be a real contender for any coach right now. No loyalty in sports, I know, but I think taking your team to the playoffs and winning a game when you weren’t even supposed to be there means you’ve earned the right to coach the team, at least for one more year. Especially if ownership refuses to back you the whole way, and especially if ownership had decided on a regime change less than four years ago.

    Mularkey is not a top level coach. But after doing what he did with no support from ownership and still getting fired…I would not take that job if I were a top coaching candidate. Obviously the Titans think they have some chance at getting a top coaching candidate, as evidenced by their decision.

  2. This might be a result of his refusal to make changes to the coaching staff and saying that he was happy with Mariota’s development. Regardless, this is good news. 9-7 is this guy’s ceiling. I am guessing Josh McDaniels is the most likely option now. His offense looked just fine on Saturday night.

  3. That’s crazy! Obviously they have someone ready to go….but will need to give a token interview first to appease the Rooney Rule. Just silly.

  4. Wonder if they believe that McDaniels would choose them over Indy. McDaniels seems to like Ballard. This will come down to whether McDaniels believes Luck is healthy for 2018.

  5. So media just been chasing its tail.

    Parting with Malarkey was the only adult decision that could be made which honors fiduciary responsibility to ownership and fans. This is bad news for the rest of their division, upgrading the entire coaching staff significantly will make Tennessee immediately a SB contender. Team is loaded with talent, challenge now will be to hire the right guy and put strong staff together. Perhaps the NE oc is not Indy bound as suggested?

  6. Is Mariota next? Very mediocre QB. Interesting to see that Bortles had a year than Mariota yet is constantly derided and insulted while Mariota was pretty much immune from criticism.

  7. I don’t dislike Mularkey but I have to admit I didn’t want him as our head coach anymore.

    That offence doesn’t fool anyone, and I think it had to be done despite a winning season and a playoff win. We gave up more points than we scored this year, which is a bad indication.

    Hopefully we’ll get someone to help us put up more points on the board, and tighten up that secondary.

  8. Smart move by Titans management. Allowing Mularkey to develop Mariota is like handing the keys to a fine sports car to a dirt farmer, who then immediately tries to hook a plow to the bumper.

  9. Wow! Get your team in the playoffs and you get fired?????? Sounds like the incompetent Minnesota Gophers athletic department, who fired Tracy Claeys.

  10. I have no idea what the Titans are doing and it looks like they don’t either. Your coach took you deep into the playoffs only to lose to the best team in football and you fire him.

  11. Shabby treatment. Wanted to keep his staff intact. Good luck to the successor, who will work for a front office that punishes success.

  12. Im mixed:

    I don’t agree with bouncing Mike but I dont think that if you were going to fire him going into wild card weekend that game should save his job otherwise your team could end up in Paganoland.

  13. Well that escalated quickly. There was an article earlier this morning that Titans ownership was forcing the GM to extend Mularkey.

  14. “especially if they have a coach they’re interested in hiring and know that that coach is interested in them as well”

    someone call the rooney rule police

  15. Mularkey is Fool’s Gold. He only made the playoffs due to a down year for both Colts and Texans. His team was predictable and the offense wasn’t going to fool anyone next year. The Titans have to get more out of Mariota though to take the next step.

  16. Titans needed a new coach who could put together a game plan that used their talents. Mularkey was in the Jeff Fisher school of coaching and the results was not exciting. In important games they got totally destroyed.

  17. I could have sworn I saw a story here called “Titans offer Mike Mularkey a contract extension” recently.

  18. If the Titans hire Josh McDaniels as their next head coach then the fix was in all along to fire Mularkey and hire a head coach with an 11-17 record (his poor head coaching record was not his fault of course). Also last weeks statement was a total lie. Ha!

  19. If the goal is to win a championship then this is the right move. The Titans are a talented team but watching them you never got the impression that they are a well coached team. You need great talent and great coaching to win in the playoffs.

  20. Mariota may never be good, but he definitly would never be good in this high school “exotic smashmouth” offense. I think this is the right move long term….obviously depending on who they hire

  21. The Titans are trying to rebrand their image….next year they will have new uniforms…a tweaked logo….and now a new modern age coach to lead Mariota. Mularkey was dead man walking for months now but got to show his stuff in Dec and Jan for a future employer.

  22. I actually believe this was the right call. Mularkey was overmatched on Saturday, and his QB has not progressed the way he should have. Why waste another year of your potential franchise QB’s career because you backed in to the playoffs at 9-7 and then won a game against a team that literally self-destructed. If you don’t believe he’s the guy (and they clearly don’t) then you cut bait and move on.

  23. I wouldnt call that deep into the playoffs Dolphins4. They won 1 playoff game and I don’t think there was anyone delusional enough to think that if they met someone other than the patriots that they would have won. They were a team that underperformed all year especially at qb.

  24. People seem up in arms that he was fired after a playoff win. I seem to recall a game where the Chiefs gave it away, not one where the Titans won it

    They aren’t in an appreciably better spot moving forward after stumbling into a victory last weekend than they were before that game started

    Mularkey had already shown his ceiling with that team and his coaching style. If you’re content with just making the playoffs in a down year for the AFC, then yes, Mularkey is your guy

    Otherwise, you roll the dice on a new coach

  25. As a Colts fan, I hope they are targeting Jeff Fischer! He has a way of bringing good young quarterbacks down. Shouldn’t wish that on Mariota but the AFC South is not going to be the doormat division it has been in the past thanks to the Jags, Texans when healthy, and hope of Luck returning to Indy and not ending up in a Pats uniform in a couple years, which I belive will happen.

  26. As a Colts fan, I hope they are targeting Jeff Fischer! He has a way of bringing good young quarterbacks down. Shouldn’t wish that on Mariota but the AFC South is not going to be the doormat division it has been in the past thanks to the Jags, Texans when healthy, and hope of Luck returning to Indy and not ending up in a Pats uniform in a couple years, which I belive will happen.

  27. toldlikeitis says:

    January 15, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Is Mariota next? Very mediocre QB. Interesting to see that Bortles had a year than Mariota yet is constantly derided and insulted while Mariota was pretty much immune from criticism.
    ————————————
    I guess we’ll find out what Mariota is next season for sure. But I would disagree about the Bortles vs Mariota comparison. The media has been praising Bortles all season. This site here posts a new article every few days about Bortles. The only people that don’t criticize Mariota are blind Titans fans.

  28. So if I read the tea leaves I’m thinking they offered a one year extension so he wouldn’t be a “lame duck” and he asked for longer. An impasse was reached and realizing they didn’t want him long term Mularkey issued an ultimatum that it was malarkey to give a coach who won a playoff game a mere one year extension.

  29. Would Chip Kelly do an about face for the chance to reunite with Marcus? Defense and DeMarco Murray wouldn’t be happy.

  30. @tinye67 says:
    That’s crazy! Obviously they have someone ready to go….but will need to give a token interview first to appease the Rooney Rule. Just silly.
    ============================================================================================
    Guess it never occurred to anyone that perhaps the “someone ready to go” could EVER be a minority? Think about that and what it means. It means that many people have already dismissed minorities as being the lead candidate, which is why the Rooney Rule is in place.

  31. They should think outside the box and go hire Les Miles to coach the Titans. All he did was win at LSU.

  32. The Titans are, at best, a 3rd tier franchise. To read their fans thinking they’re going to attract a top-line coaching candidate is, at best, laughable.

    Seriously.

  33. It’s refreshing to see an owner make an intelligent decision. This is the best job in the NFL. Great young QB, and an owner that’s smart, and obviously committed to winning. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Vince Lombardi and Don Shula, but the rules have changed to benefit the passing game. Three yards and a cloud of dust is outdated.

  34. Again the case that anytime that the ownership gives a “vote of confidence” to a coach, they should start packing their stuff and get the U-Haul ready.

  35. Sometimes having the right coach can do wonders to a QB’s future. See Jeff Fisher: Jared Goff and Case Keenum.

  36. I imagine it went something like this: “Here’s an extension. All you have to do is change everything you do and how you do it”. Mularky: I don’t think I can do that. Management: “here’s your pink slip”.

  37. mrbiggstuff says:
    January 15, 2018 at 10:08 am
    This is not true. Ian Rapoport said they had a contract extension in place, and we know Ian is never wrong!

    ——————+
    I know Rappaport said they had an extension but until ESPN reports something you cant be totally sure its false.

  38. In Tennessee a playoff WIN will get your fired. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati 7 playoff losses get you ANOTHER contract.

  39. Like many I am tempted to criticize Ian Rapoport who reported the extension for Mularkey but I suspect a different dynamic at play. Did the owners of the Titans float the Mularkey extension to gauge public response or was the report to determine Josh McDaniels’ true intentions? While the remaining seats at the head coaching table have not been publically finalized I can see Shurmur in Arizona, Patricia in Detroit, Jim Schwartz in New York, McDaniels in Tennessee or Indianapolis with the remaining open gig going to a retread or DeFilippo. McDaniels will need to decide between comfort within the organization (advantage Tennessee) or the prospect of coaching a generational talent (Indianapolis). I believe he has decided to move his young family to Tennessee – all under the table, of course.

  40. Mularky is no stranger to abandonment. Bills wanted to resign him and the deal seemed set, and he abandoned the team. Turn about just seems like fair play, to me.

  41. Complaining about the Rooney rule shows lack of awareness. It’s effective to give minority coaches the experience of interviewing that they were not previously getting. How many coaches get that job their first time they interviewed for one? Being part of the interview process is incredibly important long-term and minority coaches were not being included before.

  42. Long list of teams that dump a guy that’s good, but not good enough that never hit that “good” level with the new coach.

  43. So a coach who has won one game in two years still has a job but a coach who won a wildcard game is out? Titans ownership apparently are wearing the grass is greener goggles. I think

  44. So a coach who has won one game in two years still has a job but a coach who won a wildcard game is out? Titans ownership apparently are wearing the grass is greener goggles. I think i need to start rooting against this team just because of ownership.

  45. Ppl need to quit with the McDaniels fixation. It’s getting annoying. He’s not going to take the TN job. I doubt he takes the Indy job. He’ll probably stay and mop up for Belichick whenever he decides to go.

    As for TN, I cannt envision who would take this job. If Chip Kelly had not taken the college job, I would have said him. Maybe the Titans ought to play with TN minds and hire Greg Schiano. Or Tee Martin.

    I hope they hire someone with experience, though. Significant time as a coordinator or, ideally, HC, either pro or college. It might be an interesting place for Shurmur, though. Or Jim Schwartz…

  46. Honestly he never should have got the job in the first place. To this day, i have no idea why the Titans just handed him the job on a silver platter without even trying to find someone better qualified. He filled in as the interim and for some reason they never even bothered to look at anyone else.

    Mariota hasn’t developed, they limped their way into the playoffs through a weak AFC, got lucky to play a team that had nothing to play for in week 17 and still barely did anything, had Andy Reid cough up a W like a cat with a hair ball to get to the 2nd round, and for the sake of Titans fans i’m glad none of this furthered the organizations disillusion that Mularkey was actually a good HC.

    Titans needed new leadership to truly grow. Good for them.

  47. Let’s solve this whole discussion. There are 31 other teams out there and Mike Mularkey is available to be your head coach. Who all wants a playoff coach taking over their team if/when you need to replace your current one? Come on Cincy, drop Lewis for Mularkey?

  48. nflfollower says:
    January 15, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Wow. How many times has this happened? Playoff win on the road and getting canned the next week?
    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Basically, they really wanted to move on from Mularky before the regular season was finished, but the team screwed up and made the playoffs, then drew the playoff bed wetters (Chiefs) in the first rd, so the decision got extended yet another week, then finally the Pats ended the nonsense and the Titans management could get on with what they wanted to do two weeks earlier.

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