Titans coach Mike Mularkey inherited from Ken Whisenhunt a 1-6 team. Mularkey has gone 2-6. And that could be enough to get him the permanent job.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN said earlier in the hour that Mularkey has gone from “leaning out” to “leaning safe.”
It would be a major surprise if it happens; the Titans have been horrible in recent years, and with a young franchise quarterback and (if the Titans lose today) the first overall pick in hand, the Titans could lure an “A” list coach to Nashville.
Mularkey, who coached the Bills for two years and the Jaguars for one, has a career record of 18-38. While he has done well as an assistant coach (and did a great job as a part-time contributor to Pro Football Talk on NBCSN), his won-loss numbers don’t scream out “A” list.
Mortensen cited ownership issues in support of the notion that Mularkey could stay. While the Titans aren’t for sale (they spontaneously say that every so often), keeping Mularkey would make it easier for a new owner to clear the decks and hire a new coach. Giving someone a four-year or five-year contract worth $6 million or more per year would serve only to tie the hands of a new owner.
So if the Titans are intent on convincing people the team isn’t for sale, the best way to do that would be to make a long-term investment in a coach.
However it turns out, the Titans will be required to start their search from scratch, complying at a minimum with the Rooney Rule by interviewing in person at least one minority candidate.