Titans owner knew during search that Mularkey was the guy

AP

Plenty of NFL coaching searches begin with the end in mind, making the effort more of a process of confirmation than elimination. Few if any NFL coaching searches culminate in a public admission that the decision was made before the process had ended.

On Monday, Titans president Steve Underwood admitted that owner Amy Adams Strunk made a decision during, not after, the process of looking for a coach ended.

“Somewhere during that process I think it coalesced for Amy and she had made the decision she already knew Mike [Mularkey],” Underwood said. “She had a comfort level with Mike. But she wanted to reach out and look around to make sure there was not any other viable candidates for her, in terms of our club and where we were going.”

She didn’t reach or look very far. The Titans interviewed three other candidates: Teryl Austin, Doug Marrone, and Ray Horton. The Titans pursued no undisputed A-list candidates, ignoring completely former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, the guy who recruited quarterback Marcus Mariota to Oregon and who wanted to land him in the 2015 draft. Likewise, Adam Gase, Ben McAdoo, and Tom Coughlin, each of whom drew interest from multiple teams, were not interviewed by the Titans.

Regardless of whether this inclination made the two Rooney Rule interviews (Austin and Horton) a sham, the whole process comes off as a sham. It wasn’t a real search; it was a hollow, we’re-going-through-the-motions-because-we-have-to coronation of Mularkey.

On one hand, that’s the Titans’ right. On the other hand, the NFL contemplates something more meaningful will happen. Especially since the guy who got the job has had zero interest in his services as a head coach since being released after one season with the Jaguars three years ago.

It doesn’t mean Mularkey will fail. But it means that either the Titans either know something everyone else doesn’t or everyone else knows something they don’t.

19 responses to “Titans owner knew during search that Mularkey was the guy

  1. Further evidence that the Titans are the worst run franchise in the NFL. No interest in winning unless they can do it cheaply. Mike Brown wants his old title (cheapest owner in sports) back.

  2. I think if a team is hiring their head coach from within, they should not be forced into the Rooney Rule. It take the sham out of the process.

  3. In my opinion, that’s exactly what she should have done. I’ve worked with a lot of people searching for leadership and the rule is, don’t fall in love with the first person you interview; always take the time to look at others because you never know what you might find. BUT, if after doing that you find the first person is the right person, don’t waste any more time or you might lose them.
    As I recall, the Rooney Rule is there to make sure interviews happen. It wasn’t created to ensure that more minorities GOT jobs, but to make sure they had the chance to interview and show what they could do. That way, they COULD get jobs.

  4. I already hate this woman. She is unqualified to hire coaches. Last you own 33% of a team your father left you. That’s the extent of your qualifications. Let your football people make football decisions. You are my qualified.

  5. The Rooney rule is the sham. Give n inch, take a yard. Forcing teams to interview candidates they have no interest in was bad enough. Now, we see the goal posts moving to now say that not enough minorities are being hired. Won’t be long now until some folks start publicly suggesting quotas. Wonder how that is going to filter down to the rosters. Might see a lot of black players out of jobs.

  6. “But it means that either the Titans either know something everyone else doesn’t or everyone else knows something they don’t.”

    It’s the Titans ownership we’re talking about. What are the odds they they know ANYthing about…well…anything that everyone else doesn’t already know?

  7. It happens all the time in business too. I know who I want to hire but HR makes me go through a process. Call it a sham if you want; I would prefer not to have to go through it myself.

  8. dangcote says:
    Jan 18, 2016 5:02 PM

    I think if a team is hiring their head coach from within, they should not be forced into the Rooney Rule. It take the sham out of the process.

    —-

    I absolutely agree. The only thing that is a sham is this article. That goes along with the thinking on the other side of the coin that got coaches like Rich Kotite and Buddy Ryan hired all the time back in the day, and has others getting thought of because they’re from a coaching tree – like a Josh McDaniels (I personally think he is an idiot). I know Florio never played football, but the writing on here just gets worse and worse as the so-called “experts” lend an opinion on something they know nothing about. If he’s their guy, he is their guy, pure and simple. There’s no analysis available that says he’s not other than the systems he has worked for, the time he has had to prove it, and the players he had to work with. Football isn’t like Roman law.

  9. Quote: Regardless of whether this inclination made the two Rooney Rule interviews (Austin and Horton) a sham, the whole process comes off as a sham….

    But isn’t the Rooney Rule itself a sham?

  10. Fans need stop going to games. They deserve better and fans shouldnt have to pony up to watch their below mediocre staff theyve put together.

    Amy strunk go to hell

  11. Why hire a guy if your first move is to give him a contract which reflects a lack of confidence in his abilities??? I fell sorry for Marcus Mariota. He’ll probably end up as another talented quarterback who’s career flounders because he’s stuck with a dysfunctional organization…

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