Jacksonville Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey as Head Coach
January 11, 2012
As first reported by the Florida Times-Union’s Tania Ganguli late last night (and relayed to me by my sister an a sleep-interrupting phone call), the Jacksonville Jaguars named the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, Mike Mularkey, the new head coach.
Already knowing how the early morning host of 1010 XL’s program felt about Mularkey, I tuned into 930 AM’s Tom McManus. I was surprised by the ferocity opposition to the Jaguars’ choice. His rant, though, seemed more focused on past choices rather than the particular decision to hire Mularkey. As such, it was rather pointless. Before the end of the season, the Jaguars organization retained Gene Smith as General Manager. An apprent consequence of that is the decision to continue to consider Blaine Gabbert as the team’s primary quarterback**. Those two decisions were fixed before the serious search for a head coach began. As such, an intial consideration of the hiring of Mularkey should take those as givens. McManus, however, chose to rage about the past rather than consider the truth of the present.
Since I was listening to 930, I did not hear the reaction on 1010. However, I had listened the past two mornings and heard the host rule out Mularkey based on the Falcons’ poor offensive showing against the New York Giants on Sunday. That point was raised to ESPN’s Chris Mortenson on Twitter, who replied that Mike McCarthy’s offense in San Francisco was 31st in the league when Green Bay hired him. Presumably, 49er fans felt the same way that Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Mark Bradley feels about the Jaguars hiring Mularkey; he considers the Falcons lucky to have Mularkey taken off their hands.
Another element of McManus’ complaint about the hire is that it was “another wait and see deal… oh well let’s wait and see” (spoken such that one could hear his eyes rolling). Realistically, that is true of any hire. No matter how great any coach’s prior sucess is, one cannot assume it to carry over to a new and possibly quite different situation. The matter of Super Bowl coaches not winning another Super Bowl with a new team should make that clear.
The next matter of buisness for Jaguars fans is to see whether Mel Tucker, who had been in the running for the head coach position, will remain. There have been some hints that his remaining may have been a pre-condition as well in the head coach search. However, the Minnesota Vikings have expressed interest in bringing him aboard, so it may not be so much a matter of the Jaguars wanting to keep him as Tucker wanting to stay. We shall wait and see.