Jason O. Watson
The NFL saw another head coach go down this morning - Jaguars coach, Mike Mularkey.
Mike Mularkey lasted just one season in Jacksonville. The Jaguars went just 2-14 this season under him. As Alfie Crow from Jaguars blog Big Cat Country put it:
"Mularkey was hired by general manager Gene Smith in the 2012 offseason with the idea he would help grow quarterback Blaine Gabbert. While Gabbert showed improvement, it was minimal and he was eventually benched for injury and play in favor of Chad Henne, who was underwhelming in relief.
"Not only was the Jaguars offense and quarterback position woeful, at one point in the season the players met with Mularkey because his practices were too grueling and the players felt it contributed to the rash of injuries the Jaguars suffered."
This firing puts Mularkey square into the sights of those teams looking to add an offensive coordinator. He joins a long list of recently fired offensive minded head coaches including the likes of Norv Turner (Chargers), Pat Shurmur (Browns), Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals), and Chan Gailey (Bills).
The Raiders are one of those teams in need of a new offensive coordinator and despite Mularkey's one year not being able to develop Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville, his record before that looks much better.
Prior to his one year with the Jaguars, Mularkey did develop a young quarterback by the name of Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Mularkey was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons for the first four seasons of Ryan's career. During that time, the Falcons went from one of the worst offenses in the NFL (29th) to being one of the top offenses in the league each of his four seasons there including top ten three of those years.
It's safe to say Matt Ryan turned out pretty well. That success plus the success of the team is what had the Jaguars thinking Mularkey was their man to find the NFL quarterback they believed lied inside Blaine Gabbert. He didn't find it and he was fired.
It could be there is no NFL quarterback in Gabbert. It could be Mularkey was not the problem but Jaguars' General Manager David Caldwell didn't give him more than one season to find out. That missed opportunity makes Mularkey an intriguing candidate for an offensive coordinator position. And with him not being a head coach, the whole bit about players being overworked wouldn't be a concern.
The candidates continue to stack up which could be why we haven't heard any rumors from Alameda of late. Best not to make a move too soon and miss out on the ideal person for the job.