Mularkey focused on Falcons, not landing a new job

Falcons offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey and quarterback Matt Ryan are ready to expand the use of the no-huddle attack and maybe throw in some gadget plays.  (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Falcons offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey and quarterback Matt Ryan are ready to expand the use of the no-huddle attack and maybe throw in some gadget plays. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey made it clear that his focus is on the team’s playoff march and not on landing a head coaching job when talking with the media on Tuesday.

He was cordial in telling us that he wasn’t aware of an ESPN report about him being a candidate for the Denver Broncos’ top job.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. did state that he wanted to be a head coach again. That was news because it was not clear if his experience in Buffalo had soured him on being the head guy again.

Mularkey said he’d worry about his head coaching aspirations later.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Mularkey said. “I’ve got so many other things to deal with. I literally take it day-by-day. That’s just the way this business is, especially with the travel that we’ve got coming and the games that we have coming. There is no room for it.”

Tuesday is game-planning day and Mularkey took a break to update us on the offense and deal with the head coaching report.

“That hasn’t even crossed my mind,” Mularkey said. “I didn’t hear that report. We still have to win this football game. I’m telling the players to focus on the now, don’t worry about anything else. Don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. There is no control over what anybody else is doing with regards to jobs or any of that.

“All I can do is help these guys win this game. That’s been my approach with them and that’s been my approach.”

Mularkey, 49, was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005. He posted a 14-18 record. He went 9-7 in 2004, Buffalo’s last winning season. He went 5-11 in 2005.

Mularkey, who’s in his third season with the Falcons, and assistant head coach/quarterbacks Bill Musgrave have been credited with the development of third-year quarterback Matt Ryan and with helping head coach Mike Smith guide the Falcons to three straight winning seasons.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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166 comments Add your comment

FrontRow

December 14th, 2010
10:30 pm

Folks around here are all over Mularkey for the Falcon’s “woes”. Too conservative, holding back on Matt Ryan, can call plays, etc, etc, etc.

Nobody remembers year 1 when Matt Ryan looked like the real deal as Mularkey and his team adjusted during games and took a rookie QB to the playoffs.

Nobody remembers his days as OC in Pittsburg when he was known for trick/gadget plays that kept the Steelers competitive.

I’ll say it again – with the success of the offensive development of the team and Matt Ryan, we are lucky to still have Mularkey. But, eventually, the big yellow taxi will come.

Let’s all hope we see what we have before it is gone.

2Legit2quit

December 14th, 2010
10:31 pm

No offense, but he isn’t exactly an offensive genious! Very predictable play calling still, I think he has moments that he is very creative and goes back to doing stuff outside the box but usually gets very predictable. I wish him the best since it is a tough business but the birds will be fine if he leaves.

Keith Brooking

December 14th, 2010
11:04 pm

Please forgive me for 3rd and 16!

SawThat1nce

December 15th, 2010
12:14 am

It seems like Mularkey’s best call this is year, is calling for the no-huddle offense to commence.

PMC

December 15th, 2010
12:21 am

Mularkey has been MONEY since he got here. We are lucky to have him.

Nobody is perfect all the time but when you look at the overall results. He’s just been brilliant for us.

PMC

December 15th, 2010
12:22 am

Nothing is more demoralizing to a defense when the KNOW what they are going to get…and they STILL can’t stop it.

PMC

December 15th, 2010
12:25 am

Compare Mike to say…..Gregg Knapp when he was here.

DR. FALCON

December 15th, 2010
12:39 am

MIKE MULARKEY SOUNDS FOCUSED! STOP THE RUMORS! BY THE WAY, I HEARD ON SIRIUS RADIO, THAT STEVE BARTKOWSKI TOLD HIS AUDIENCE AT A CHARITY FUNCTION LAST WEEK, THAT HE ONCE THREW A FOOTBALL 103YDS IN H.S.! AS LUDICROUS AS THAT SOUNDS, I BELIEVE BIG BART! BEST DEEP BALL THROWER EVER?

Ross

December 15th, 2010
12:40 am

Mularkey would do well to perfect his current position before jumping into the top spot. Of course no one has any patience these days, so fat chance of that.

RockyMtnFalcon

December 15th, 2010
2:05 am

Amen Dr. Falcon! Amen!!

swatguy

December 15th, 2010
2:27 am

His play calling has improved greatly as the season progresses. What is reminded to me is the game planning. He is guiding the offense as the game flows with all of the positions, downs, defenses and clock. It is a heady position. Its chess not checkers.

Kurt

December 15th, 2010
6:18 am

Mularkey is at his best when the Falcons are in the no huddle and Matt Ryan is calling all the plays. Not hating on the OC, it’s just with the increased tempo, we always seem to move the ball and nearly always score points. Matt Ryan is smart enough obviously to call an entire game. We ran the no huddle for the entire 1st half against the Ravens and look at the results – we absolutely dominated until we got back into the traditional, slow it down, huddle up, run, run, pass offense. I know it wasn’t quite that bad, but you guys know what I mean. Let Mularkey hang his hat and make his living on preparing Matt Ryan to run his plays out of the no huddle. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

FalconUGAFan

December 15th, 2010
6:36 am

Do you think it is possible that the no-huddle works so well due to the fact that it is such a change of pace from the norm (Mularkey’s play-calling)? Not to take anything from Matty, but if he ran the no-huddle all the time, then the other teams would have more time to study his tendencies and would know how to react better. I think the mix works pretty well.

Greg

December 15th, 2010
6:43 am

There are many OC’s out there who are more imaginative and less predictable than MM. I hope someone gives him a head-coaching job. He may very well be better at that. Then we could up-grade.

hjones

December 15th, 2010
6:56 am

Mularkey’s play calling will be the reason we DON’T go to the SUPER BOWL. We will loose to NO or Philadelphia. We have too many drives that have not scored points. His sequence of plays called are too PREDICTABLE. Only points determine “win or loose”; long drives and time of possession are statistics to feel good about. Matt Ryan must throw more on first down for us to beat the great teams. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SEEN TURNER STOPPED FOR -1, 0, 1, YARDS ON FIRST AND SECOND DOWN? Matt Ryan is then put into an almost “no win” situation on third down. Every team knows our sequence of plays about 85-90% of the time. PLEASE FREE MATT RYAN!!!!

Larry

December 15th, 2010
6:57 am

Well, I happen to think that Ryan, like Brees, Manning and Brady, is the type of “cerebral” QB that can make any OC look good. But, regardless of my or anyone else’s opinion about MM, it sure a new era in Falcons Football when people are now looking at OUR assistants for head coaching possibilities.

This means our team is performing well; and indeed this is a very good sign!

Paddy

December 15th, 2010
6:58 am

Greg…..you may be correct. There may be other OC’s out there with more imagination and less predictable. But you know what, those coaches all have worse records than the Mularkey led Falcons. Hope he stays. His best days are still in front of him with these Falcons.

FalconUGAFan

December 15th, 2010
7:11 am

hjones—Completely agree with, and that is my point that I didn’t make very well. Maybe the change of pace from the predictable playcalling to the no-huddle “cerebral” playcalling of Matty is why it works. Not defending anyone here nor am I a student of the game. Just a fan that likes the direction that we going.

dozer

December 15th, 2010
7:49 am

Maybe he can get anotheer job and quit on that team like he did on the Bills…….

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
8:34 am

@hjones so you are another one of those people that go to Vegas and bet the “DON’T PASSLINE” most negative bet in Vegas? Also you probably sit either in front of the TV or in the stands and call plays, “Yes You Are A GENIUS”

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
8:36 am

ALL YA KNUCKLEHEADS “ARE GENIUSES” – WOW I AM SURROUNDED BY SUCH SMART FOLKS!

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
8:48 am

“WHATEVER” does that comment have to do with Murlarkey – Why wouldn’t you just come out, come clean with it “you want the J.O.B.”!!!! – Oh “WHATEVER”

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

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1eyedJack

December 15th, 2010
9:13 am

It’s not enough just to win? You want bells and whistles and sirens too? C’mon guys, they’re 11-2. Rejoice….and be glad in it.

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
9:17 am

11-2 —– 1eyedJack i couldn’t agree MORE —- right-on —– These Falcons are “FOR REAL”!!!!

3 more to go

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
9:19 am

B4 – Where are YOU????

PMC

December 15th, 2010
9:27 am

No win situation on 3rd down? They are 2nd in the league converting 3rd downs and +50% in the last 5 games.

YES they absolutely need to score more, most of that has to do with execution more than it does play calling. The Falcons need to execute better on the opponents side of the field. They are doing a very good job, but they need to get into the end zone more often.

1eyedJack

December 15th, 2010
9:31 am

We have an excellent opportunity to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In the NFL that’s HUGE.

VR Jacket

December 15th, 2010
9:32 am

I love when fans complain that playcalling is “predictable”. How many plays have you seen this year? I’m guessing, like myself, that you have seen every play over the past three years. If you don’t find the playcalling predictable, you sir, are an idiot.

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
9:37 am

MORE GENIUSES – Buddy you need be a COACH – How predictable would that be?????

Go bet the “NO PASSLINE” see how many times you win???? NOT!

So if you NOT dumb You must be “STUPID”

1eyedJack

December 15th, 2010
9:41 am

Play calls are based on down and distance. Every play called has multiple options. Ryan can audible out of the play that was called. The play that is actually executed is determined by the defensive alignment for the most part. Even after the play starts there are options. Pass plays give receivers 6 or 8 route options based on the coverage.

1eyedJack

December 15th, 2010
9:49 am

I don’t give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way.

mountain_jim

December 15th, 2010
9:57 am

VR Jacket – what I have not seen is a screen game that is 10% as complex or effective as Philly’s, little to no draw plays, and the same passing routes run too often. That sideline 6 yard pass is going to get picked-6 again soon because we go to it to often.

The offense is too predictable because it’s too limited, in the area of screens. slants, etc. And Mularkey sits on the lead and gets conservative every 3rd quarter. That may be Mike Smith’s decision, I don’t know, but unless we improve on that we can not keep up with Philly or New England, should we be fortunate enough to get that far.

alanfalcon

December 15th, 2010
10:01 am

I think Mularkey does a good job during the week as far as preperation goes, but MATTY OPERATES BETTER CALLING THE PLAYS AS HE SEE’S THE SITUATION ON THE FIELD, HE IS THE NEXT PEYTON MANNING.

techron

December 15th, 2010
10:02 am

Bart had a fantastic arm alright. My college roommate was from LA and he said he saw Roman Gabriel throw a ball 100 yards at a Rams practice. Gabe was at NCS the same time that Sonny Jurgensen was at Duke. I couple of pretty good ones. In fact, I would say that those two are the alltime QBs at both schools.

FrontRow

December 15th, 2010
10:04 am

Like I said we’re lucky to have Mularkey for now.

And – I bet the no pass line. Only a fool bets the pass line 100% of the time.

JOEinPHX

December 15th, 2010
10:06 am

MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK, BUT IT’S NOT A PROBLEM, IT FITS RIGHT IN WITH SO MANY OF THESE OTHER COMMENTS.

singh is king

December 15th, 2010
10:08 am

falcons and saints are getting like ravens and steelers! go falcons, rise up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
here come the birds in attack mode, watch out aints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:13 am

6 & 8 Baby — if you are a true crap shotter 6 & 8 Baby are the numbers everything else follows —–

You keep betting that No Passline “Genius”

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

VR Jacket

December 15th, 2010
10:15 am

Mountain- The only Philly game I have watched from beginning to end is when they dominated the Falcons.I don’t think they would have lost to anybody that day. I did not see them lose to Washington, but I suspect they looked a little more predictable that day. Philly has lost 4 games this year, and I’m sure the fans were complaining about Andy Rieds Playcalling after those games.

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:21 am

I wish i was in Pheonix right now “Probably be play golf”

FrontRow

December 15th, 2010
10:22 am

Not always only when the feeling stikes me. FYI “genius” 7 is the most likely number.

Does it have Talons?

December 15th, 2010
10:25 am

I honestly don’t understand the criticism of the Falcons’ offense or Mike Mularkey. The Falcons are top 10 in the NFL in yards per game, and top 5 in points per game. Matt Ryan is very efficient, doesn’t turn the ball over much. The offensive line doesn’t give up many sacks. Michael Turner and Roddy White lead the NFC in rushing and NFL in receiving respectively. They are the least penalized team in the NFL and they convert more 3rd downs than any other team in the NFL.

Tell me exactly what Mularky is doing wrong? Maybe they don’t throw deep often enough. But if you are winning and doing it as efficiently as the Falcons are, why throw low percentage passes just because some armchair coach thinks you should?

Chalk it up to people never being satisfied.

FrontRow

December 15th, 2010
10:27 am

All those that fear Philly keep in mind – the “overpaid” Dunta Robinson did exactly what needed to be done.

Plant a smurf – win a prize.

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:28 am

You are right and wrong, mostly wrong —– Check-it sweetheart #6 = 3 times — #8 = 3 times —- #7 = 3 times

I know you a Georgia Bull Dawg ain’tcha

“GENIUS”

Seattle Next

GO FALCONS

FrontRow

December 15th, 2010
10:28 am

@Does it have Talons? The “Mularkey problem” is the NFL doesn’t schedule Vanderbilt for homecoming.

FrontRow

December 15th, 2010
10:30 am

@True Falcon Fan

Obviously not a math major.

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:30 am

Gotcha!!!!!!

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:32 am

True Falcon Fan

December 15th, 2010
10:36 am

FrtRow — Can’t argue about you’re guy’s handled my YellowJackets – that hurt