Tag:Mike Mularkey
Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 10:48 pm

Why Mularkey for Jaguars?

There was chatter going around the NFL the past couple of days that the Atlanta Falcons were considering firing offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Now he's the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I don’t get it.

What is the attraction? What's the selling point?

Was it his stint as a head coach of the Buffalo Bills, where his record was a sterling 14-18?

Or was it seeing six of the 10 offenses he's led in the past decade as coordinator or head coach finish 10th or lower in points, including four at 15 or lower?

Or was it the two points the Falcons scored in Sunday's NFC playoff loss to the New York Giants, those coming on a safety, meaning his offense was shut out?

I do know that Jaguars general manager Gene Smith was fond of Mularkey. And Mularkey must have wowed new owner Shahid Khan in the interview. One other selling point could be that Mularkey is willing to keep on defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who was the team's interim coach. Smith is also high on Tucker.

"I don’t get it," one league coach said. "He quit at Buffalo and he quit on the Dolphins because he didn't like Nick Saban. What's the attraction?"

Mularkey, a former college tight end at Florida, did have early success as a coordinator in Pittsburgh when the Steelers finished second in points scored in his first season running the offense in 2001. But the highest ranking since was fourth by the Falcons in 2010.

Khan has said the league is a passing league and that the Jaguars need to move to being one of those teams, especially with quarterback Blaine Gabbert. In Mularkey's 10 seasons running an offense, his teams have been in the top-10 in rushing attempts five times.

In Atlanta, he was considered too conservative for the talent he had on offense.  Several times players privately wished that the offense were more open. The Falcons were a more up-tempo offense when Matt Ryan called the plays at the line of scrimmage and they had more success.

The word "predictable" was one that was heard when the Atlanta offense was mentioned.

It's a risky move for the Jaguars for sure. One bit of advice for Gabbert: Practice those rollouts. You now will be running plenty of them.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com