After a coaching search that began with five weeks left in the regular season, the Jaguars have finally found their man. That man is Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.
Mularkey will become just the third head coach in the team’s 17 years of existence following Tom Coughlin and recently fired Jack Del Rio.
The 50-year old Mularkey has head coaching experience as he led the Buffalo Bills from 2004 to 2005 and finished with a 14-18 record. After being fired by Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Mularkey moved on to Miami to be the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2006, then he was reassigned to coaching tight ends in 2007.
Mularkey joined former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith in 2008 when he took over the Atlanta Falcons and has remained as the team’s offensive coordinator since then. The Falcons offense has finished with the 6th, 16th, 16th and 10th rankings during Mularkey’s tenure.
Mike Mularkey is known as a conservative coach who utilizes a strong running game to set up play-action which fits what the Jaguars have done in recent years.
The main reasons Mularkey became the Jaguars man was his touch of head coaching experience and his ability to develop young quarterbacks. Falcons signal caller Matt Ryan was a Mularkey project and he’s now one of the better quarterbacks in football.
The Jaguars hope that Mularkey can help develop Blaine Gabbert who struggled mightily in his rookie season. Gabbert will need more weapons around him to have any chance of succeeding.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie