Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey to be next head coach


Six years after walking away from a head coaching job in Buffalo, Mike Mularkey will again run an NFL team.

Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reports that the Jaguars are hiring Mularkey to be their next head coach. Mularkey has been the offensive coordinator in Atlanta since 2008.

Mularkey interviewed for the job on Tuesday and clearly had a strong performance. He gets the job on the same day that Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden pulled out of the running and only two days after Mularkey’s Falcons offense didn’t score a point against the Giants.

This may not be a popular move in Jacksonville. And Pete Prisco of points out that it may be popular with many Falcons fans and some Falcons players.

We’re inclined to give owner Shad Khan and G.M. Gene Smith the benefit of the doubt for now.  Mularkey had one good season in Buffalo as a head coach and one not so good season. He didn’t seem ready for the job, but we always thought he might be someone that would be much better the second team around. (The same goes for former Bills coach Gregg Williams.)

Mularkey certainly has an uphill climb in Jacksonville. While the defensive talent is solid, Mularkey will have to quickly develop Blaine Gabbert and Smith needs to find some receivers for Gabbert to throw to.

The Jaguars are clearly betting that Mularkey is the man to make Gabbert look like a franchise quarterback because he didn’t look like one as a rookie.

UPDATE 10:48 p.m. ET: The Jaguars officially confirmed the hire. Mularkey is the third coach in Jaguars franchise history after Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio.

88 responses to “Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey to be next head coach

  1. well in his defense the falcons usually have a decent offense. of course getting shut out in the playoff’s is grounds for termination right? at least they’re not scavaging off the packers coaching roster….

  2. So let me get this straight. The offensive coordinator of a team that just scored zero offensive points in a playoff game is hired by a team that can’t score points at all?

  3. This guy just put up zero points with Ryan, Turner, Roddy, and Julio…can’t wait to see what he does with Gabbert & Co.

  4. Excellent news!

    Now hopefully the Falcons can get a more forward thinking, creative OC (no, not you Hue), otherwise the heat will start to get turned up on Smitty.

    To the Jags, why this guy?

  5. Dolphins miss out again…. This must mean that Coach Philbin will be our New Head Coach.. or Fins are going to interview recenlty fired HC Hue Jackson….

  6. Unless Mularkey can magically implant some courage and toughness in Gabbert, it’s not going to work. Say it again you can’t teach a guy pocket presence.

    I reckon a few games in he’ll be calling Kelly Holcomb begging for him to come back.

    No, but really.

    Matt Barkley will be a Jag next year. That’s my prediction.

  7. While visiting Jacksonville during the Christmas holidays, there was a lot of speculation about Jeff Fisher being the Jags’ next coach. So pleased that didn’t happen. I’d hate to see a coach of his class stoop to head up an organization of that … um, caliber.

    So it’s Mike Mularkey, huh? To those of us in Titans country, why that sounds like a perfect fit.

  8. This is a great hire especially after the wonderful game he called against the giants. I especially liked the empty backfield on fourth and one, very tricky nobody watching the game thought it would be another quarterback sneak lol 2 points great game planning.

  9. Well, if Cheap Crisco doesn’t like him, that’s certainly one thing in Mike’s favor. Pillsbury Pete has a virtually unblemished record of being wrong in his opinions over the years.

  10. I sincerely hope for Mr. Mularkey and the Bucs organization, there is enough time given for Mr. Mularkey to get his organization established. I believe some owners expectations are unrealistic.


  11. Cool. Time to move forward. Let Gene Smith do to the offense what he did for the Jags defense last year. Spend the 30 or so million on some effective offensive weapons and make teams respect both the run and the pass. A top 5 defense with a top 15 offense and this team will be something to reckon with.

  12. What would have been a popular move in Jacksonville, though? That’s my thing.

    None of the top coaches available are gonna sign themselves up for the Blaine Gabbert merry-go-round. Side effects include intense vomiting.

    Not like there’s anything attractive about the market either.

    This did come quickly, which makes me believe Mularkey was the fall back option after Gruden.

  13. Way I see it, top coaches available are – Todd Haley, Brian Billick, Jim Fassel, Marty Schottenheimer. Who am I missing?

    And yes, Jim Fassel. Got no idea what he did to not get another shot in the league. Same with Billick.

    Marty goes without saying. He’s better than 2/3 of the coaches in the league.

    Jeff Fisher is overrated. Beware, St. Louis.

  14. Shoulda got hue jackson woulda been cheaper and his offense has been better in one year than mularkys ever was but hey if he gets gabbert to 0-3 in the playoffs that’s a job well done. End of the day would u hire a guy named “doo doo head”? That’s what mularky means

  15. As a Falcons fan I’m excited to get some new blood. I could pretty much call the play from the down & distance when they came to the line, so I’m pretty sure the defenses could too.

  16. Not going to sell too many tickets with this hire. I was hoping Kahn would step in and spend some money on a big name coach to help create some excitment around here in Jacksonville.. Kahn should have cleaned house with Gene Smith going first… Actually surprised Gene Smith did not go hire a Division II or Division III college head coach…that’s where he believes he can find all his NFL talent…

  17. zuazua says:
    Jan 10, 2012 10:20 PM
    Dolphins miss out again…. This must mean that Coach Philbin will be our New Head Coach.. or Fins are going to interview recenlty fired HC Hue Jackson….


    I will GLADLY take Philbin as our next head coach if he can get Flynn to come along with! THAT is what Dolphins fans everywhere should be hoping for.

  18. I can’t wait to see who the coach of the L.A. Jaguars is gonna be, b/c it definitely wont be this guy!

  19. tennesseeoilers says:Jan 10, 2012 10:24 PM

    While visiting Jacksonville during the Christmas holidays, there was a lot of speculation about Jeff Fisher being the Jags’ next coach.

    A lot of speculation from who? Your inbred family doesnt count. Nor does the guy that plays the jug on your front porch.

    Hopefully you got everyone back on the wagon home. Including your momma sister.

  20. All hcs deserve a second chance… Just not a 3rd and 4th… If they cant hack a secind run then they r done. And to all those who talk about no pts in playoffs… Its not about the xs and os, its about the billy and the joes… Catch the ball duh!

  21. Well Gene Smith gets his way once again……Soon as I heard that Mularkey and Smith were buds I knew that this was who he was going after. This saves Gene Smith a$$. Good job Gene once again you selfish clown. Only thinking of yourself here and hiring this guy knowing youll still be pulling all the little puppet strings in the Jags organization for a few more years. Knew gene didnt have it in him to go recruit a REAL HC. Mel Tucker shoulda been given a shot over this guy!

    Pissed Jags fan once again

    It never ends with this team!

  22. Steeler fan, shut the eff up. And get your facts straight before you say something stupid….ah too late.

  23. It’s a good hire. Matt Ryan was the guy Terry Shea most often compared Gabbert to. Shea coached Ryan, Flacco, Stafford, Freeman, Bradford, Ponder, as well as Gabbert for the past few drafts. He rated Gabbert even with Ryan on smarts, and ahead of him on skill. Terry had Blaine only behind Stafford overall, based on Stafford’s arm. But not by much.

    So Mularkey has a taller, stronger, younger version of the quarterback he coached back in 2008 with the Falcons. Ryan started great (he was a couple years older than Gabbert when he came into the league) and has gotten progressively better. The other two consistent factors in Mularkey offenses, a strong blocking TE (Marcedes Lewis), and a tough tailback (MoJo Drew). So, I’d say he steps into a better situation in Jax than he did in Atlanta, comparitively speaking.

    Alshon! Alshon! Alshon!

  24. This guy couldnt handle Buffalo media. Thin skin Mularkey. I give him two seasons. This is a good sign the jags stay in Jacksonville. This guy would never survive LA media.

  25. Yuck.

    Some fans wanted the big name. Some fans wanted an OC with no HC baggage. We got neither. So much for getting a guy with playoff history – winning playoff history that is.

    I guess Gene Smith is going to outsmart us all again. You know, like he has done with his pro-bowl draft selections.

    I kinda feel sorry for Del Rio now. The problem all along has been the man behind the curtains. And to think, we could have had a world-wide phenom playing for us at QB. It’s not like he was from Jacksonville or anything.

    But ol’ Gene knew better. He showed us all. And with this coaching selection, Gene keeps showing how gosh darn clever he is.

  26. Hahahahaha you guys are so goofy…omg his offense got shut out one game? As if no other good coordinators haven’t had that happen…last time I check the oc calls plays and the players execute no? Give the guy a chance, good luck jags !

  27. trbowman says:
    Jan 10, 2012 10:12 PM
    It’s a solid hire.

    I can’t fault Mularkey for not winning games with JP Lossman and Kelly Holcombover at quarterback.

    Can we fault him for scoring zero points in a playoff game with top level skill players at every key position?

    But you’re right, it’s a great idea to hire a guy who has shown he can’t win with mediocre QBs to be head coach of a team with extremely mediocre QBs.

  28. Wow, I’m glad all the NFL coaching experts here have figured out that the Jaguars made a crappy move because the guy’s current team lost a playoff game.

    I guess it never occurred to you geniuses that maybe the Giants’ defense was just better than the Falcons’ offense last week?

    Funny how you all forgot how this guy helped the Falcons get from a crap team to 13-3 last season and back in the playoffs this year. This is a lot more than our team accomplished over the past four seasons.

    I’m more than willing to give Mularkey a chance to help get this team on track.

    Since none of you really know you’re talking about anyway, how about a nice cup of shut the hell up?

  29. They need to get a true number 1 WR and also learn how to use Lewis way more. Mike Thomas could be a great slot WR 2 guy but his not a number 1. Also Sims-Walker has proved his whole career his not a number 1 WR, he failed with the Jags in his first round with them, then failed with the Rams and then failed again on his 2nd attempt with the Jags.

  30. sikkaden, you had me cracking up, then the pain hit….

    This is like a punch in the nuts when you think you’ve landed a date with the prom queen. I just KNEW that we were going to get an offensive genius who could ‘fix’ Blaine Gabbert (a man can dream!)…..someone under the radar but well respected who hadn’t coached yet, someone who could generate excitement….

    Then I get Ugly Betty. Mularkey? Been around a while, done some good things, but he was NOT head coach material. The Jags REWARD that playoff performance with a HEAD COACHING JOB? How about I just suck at my job all next week and get promoted to mayor…sheesh!

    I’ve been following all the boards and rumors, and this comes out of NOWHERE for me….

    It’s like finding out your roommate was banging your girlfriend while you had to work late to save for a ring…..BEEOTCH!

    I have enough money for season tickets, and want to be there in the worst way- I actually get tickets pretty often and go when I can. This year, two times was enough. It’s just PAINFUL and HEARTBREAKING to watch an offense of ineptness. I just can’t stand JAG FANS either, such unknowledgeable rednecks….just there to get drunk as piss and cheer and do the wave. I would point out where a corner would come up to blitz and a linebacker would start to gap blitz and say ‘WATCH OUT, Gabbert has pitch left called, you need to change the play at the line!” and the back would get DESTROYED, and the fans near me would be like “How did you see that?” and “Where do you coach?” I’m like, just a fan…but an observant, analytical, and knowledgeable one. I’m not there for the party, I’m there to see how a team makes adjustments to win based on there strengths. Not to watch one stay with a play, have a defense adjust, and to run it into suicide…

    I hate to be that ‘sideline guy’ who ‘waits to see’ what will happen…but……I’ve got my arms crossed and chin in the air until week 8 in 2012…..

    Going to ice the sack now….

  31. DAMMIT! I have a grammatical error! “there should be “their” in the 3rd to last paragraph, 2nd to last sentence.

    Flippin’ analytical self again, bet Gabbert or Mularkey wouldn’t catch it….

  32. I think this is a great hire. Now all we need is a #1 WR..wait we need about 3 WR. Then we need someone to teach our qb that we traded a few picks to move up last year that football is a contact sport and you will get hit every now and then. Then draft somebody in the first round that Jaguar fans know about and can cheer for because we watched them in college and we feel they will help our team. But who am I kidding..we get our hopes up high and we end up losing 10 games anyway. Sorry for wasting your prime football years MJD!!!

  33. Mularkey didn’t know what to do with that Falcon offense. He wanted to run it, but the run game wasn’t working. His passing game isn’t very fancy, so the playbook was kind of limited. He dialed up some really poor playcalls this season.

    Nevertheless, I hope he does a better job as a head coach in JAX than he did as an OC in his final year in Atlanta. He just ran out of ideas.

  34. larrydavidstern says:
    Jan 10, 2012 10:56 PM
    I can’t wait to see who the coach of the L.A. Jaguars is gonna be, b/c it definitely wont be this guy!
    Hey, we don’t want the Jaguars in LA!

    Nobody here is going to buy into this…

  35. “Can we fault him for scoring zero points in a playoff game with top level skill players at every key position?

    But you’re right, it’s a great idea to hire a guy who has shown he can’t win with mediocre QBs to be head coach of a team with extremely mediocre QBs.”

    I didn’t realize one game trumped years of successful coaching but, thanks for letting me in on that tidbit of information

    Fact is the Jags weren’t going to get a top level candidate. They aimed a little lower and got a solid one.

    If the Jags were to call up Jeff Fisher and try to convince him coaching there would be better than St. Louis, or even Miami, they were gonna get laughed at.

    And the Jags have extremely mediocre QBs? An awfully kind assessment.

  36. LOL if you thought Matt Ryan looked confused with all of his checkdowns and Peyton Manningisms, just wait until Blaine Gabbert gets all of Mularkey’s mambomajambo. Or better yet – his “Mularkey”.

    What a horrible hire IMO.

  37. Seems like a lateral move.

    Just get some help for M J-D, b/c the Jags are wasting a great talent just like the Lions wasted Barry Sanders.

  38. With an upgrade at WR and bringing in another QB to complete with Gabbert, the Jaguars should be a much improved team

  39. Well, I hope Malarkey can figure out a way to clean up the crap that Jags coninue drop on the field week after week, year after year with their stinky offense. Pun intended!

  40. I want to know what Mularkey told Gene Smith when they asked this basic interview question:

    “While in the last playoff game, whose fault was it that you all didn’t score ANY points on the offense that you were in charge of?”

    Follow Up Question:

    “Matt Ryan lost all confidence in throwing down field. Will the same thing happen with Blaine Gabbert?”

    Last Question:

    “0 playoff wins in Atlanta during your tenure. What are your plans for the Jaguars to win a playoff game?”

  41. The paving project on the road to L.A. takes another step towards completion.

    1. Make poor draft picks. – CHECK
    2. Play horribly for multiple seasons. – CHECK
    3. Hire unpopular coach. – CHECK
    4. Alienate the few fans left. – CHECK
    5. Claim declining fan support. – IN PROGRESS
    6. Move franchise to L.A. – IN PROGRESS

  42. This is great news. Seriously, I would have fired him before he finished the last game. I’d have dragged his butt out on the field and fired him on the 50 yard line on national television.
    I have no idea what the Jags are thinking, but they are as close to AAA football as the NFL can get anyway.

  43. What if your entire career was based on your worst day ever at the office? It’s too easy to look at last week and say this is a foolish move. This is a good coach, and with where Jacksonville is right now, a very solid hire.

  44. Does Mike Mularky have compromising photos of anyone in the Jacksonville organization to use as leverage to get hired?

    Couldn’t understand his hiring in Buffalo and certainly can’t understand this firing. This guy isn’t even like a Norv Turner or Wade Phillips (mediocre head coach, great coordinator).

  45. If Mike can hone his 4th and 1 play calling, this could be a successful hire for the Jags!

    Hint: Involve #32 in the play.

  46. realitypolice says: Jan 10, 2012 11:23 PM

    trbowman says: Jan 10, 2012 10:12 PM It’s a solid hire.

    I can’t fault Mularkey for not winning games with JP Lossman and Kelly Holcombover at quarterback. ====================

    Can we fault him for scoring zero points in a playoff game with top level skill players at every key position?

    But you’re right, it’s a great idea to hire a guy who has shown he can’t win with mediocre QBs to be head coach of a team with extremely mediocre QBs

    The last time I checked, coordinators did not suit up, break the huddle and expected to execute on any given play! That is the responsibility of the players. The coordinators role in games is to call plays that the team have prepared for during the week, “game plan”. How bout pulling your head out of the clouds or out of your rear end. So, if you are the “reality police” I guess we’d have to assume you are a crooked cop or just “top-flight security”?

  47. As a Bills fan, I think this is a decent hire. Mularkey walked out on the Bills job, but let’s not forget the conditions. He was 9-7 in 2004, but because Bledsoe played bad in the final week, the owner made the decision to cut Bledsoe and start J.P. Losman when the team had a playoff ready defense and a solid offense. That led to 5-11 in 2005.

    Following 2005, the Bills fired Tom Donahoe who had hired Mularkey and hired Marv Levy to be the GM. In Marv Levy’s first press conference as GM, a reporter asked him if he planned to coach again, and he danced around it. Mularkey could not have been any more of a lame duck.

    I’m not saying it will be great, but I’m definitely saying don’t judge him by his days with the Bills

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!