Tennessee gets permission to interview Mularkey

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

The Tennessee Titans have been granted permission to interview Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, according to a league source.  The interview has not been set up yet.

Mularkey, who was named the coordinator of the year by The Sporting News, interviewed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Denver was also granted permission to interview Mularkey, but he canceled the interview in order to focus on the Falcons’ divisional playoff game.

Mularkey has been a head coach before (Buffalo 2004-05).

Mularkey and assistant head coach/quarterbacks Bill Musgrave have been lauded league-wide for their fast development of quarterback Matt Ryan and for turning the Falcons’ offense into one of the league’s top units. The unit finished fifth in the NFL this season in points scored, at 25.6 per game.

Musgrave left to become the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 19.

Mularkey, who was 14-18 with Buffalo, had recently stated that he would be interested in becoming a head coach again.

The Falcons have been able to keep their core coaching staff together over Smith’s first three seasons.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

69 comments Add your comment

Retread Fred

February 2nd, 2011
2:59 pm

FIRST!

By the way, “First” is what the Tennessee Titans will NEVER be if they hire Mularkey as their head coach.

MJB

February 2nd, 2011
3:00 pm

I hope they hire him

MJB

February 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

need someone willing to take a lil risk and use all the weapons we have mularkey is too narrow minded

mountain_jim

February 2nd, 2011
3:01 pm

Go Titans! Hire him quick!

HGN

February 2nd, 2011
3:07 pm

Mike Mularkey would be good for Titans running back Chris Johnson. He would certainly get his 2k yds then………Here’s wishing Mularkey the best.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
3:10 pm

You all are hating on Magic Mike? He worked wonders with a rookie quarterback. Shame, shame, shame. (Study your history on rookie quarterbacks and how many people have won with them).

SawThat1nce

February 2nd, 2011
3:11 pm

MM is running the kind of offense that his boss MS, wants him to run.
Ball control offense, to keep the Falcons defense off of the field.

SawThat1nce

February 2nd, 2011
3:17 pm

If the Falcons are ever able to get an elite defensive unit, like the Steelers, Packers, etc. together, I think that we will see the offense open up a little more.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
3:23 pm

Dang, this is a tough crowd for a franchise that’s never had three straight winning seasons. He was 11-5, 9-7 and 13-3. He’d get a parade in most places.

D Falcons

February 2nd, 2011
3:25 pm

Here’s wishing Mike luck on the interview. I’m happy for him if he goes. As good of a job as Mularkey/Musgrave have done, I don’t think it would be a bad thing to get a fresh approach on offense. I think we need a little less predictability now that Ryan is entering season four. I thought we should have run more no huddle and taken more shots downfield as the season went on, and instead we seemed to do less.

D Falcons

February 2nd, 2011
3:30 pm

DOL, I think he’s done a great job, but if you look at his history, Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl after he left despite doing very well under his offensive leadership. Sometimes it takes bold moves to get to the next level.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Myron Abernathy and RPC, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Tennessee gets permission to interview Mularkey http://bit.ly/fNyU69 [...]

dawgforlife

February 2nd, 2011
3:47 pm

The run first down, run second down, third and long, and the pass first down incomplete, run second down, third and long, with Ryan changing the plays until the playclock reads one so the defense knows exactly when the ball will be snapped, has to go. if its Smitty, he needs to diversify. if its MM, good luck in Titan land and I hope they hire you.

Falconfever

February 2nd, 2011
3:50 pm

DL, we all know you are a cheesehead at heart… you should be happy YOUR team made it to the big game….. MM needs to go so we can refocus our offense to better utilize all the talent we have and maybe our beloved Falcons will be playing next year in Februrary

FunkyBobbyJ

February 2nd, 2011
3:51 pm

“Don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” 5th in the NFL in scoring with only one quality wide reciever and a TE? You haters are morons…

DirtyByrdATLien

February 2nd, 2011
3:53 pm

Mularkey is a good OC, and he’ll be a good HC. He’s done a pretty good job with Matt, but now we need a OC that will take the reigns off of Matt & let him run the offense like a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady does

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
3:58 pm

Falconsfever: You are way off base. “My” team has NEVER been to the Super Bowl.

mountain_jim

February 2nd, 2011
3:58 pm

I knew Dled would be offended – he has been defending Mularkey all year. This was the year the training wheels should have come off. Falcons best performances were when Ryan called the plays in no-huddle. The conservative and unimaginative scheme may have been partly Smith’s fault, but Ryan is not a rookie anymore and the simplistic passing game needs a major upgrade.

Plus that call in the first half of the playoff game that ended any chance for the Falcons with no timeouts and 53 yard FG available was reason to look elsewhere right there. ESPN’s writer had it right – a terrible, terrible decision to run that pass play with no timeouts and not ability to go middle of the field when already in FG range.

Falcons were really lucky to get 13-3, I think with better scheming and play-calling the Pitt and 2nd NO game could have easily been won.

falcon

February 2nd, 2011
3:59 pm

I’ve never cared for Mularkey’s play calling. No screen passes, very few 3 step drops with quick slant routes, you know the same stuff that Green Bay absolutely shredded us with. Rodgers QB rating is helped by the fact that they throw alot of very high percentage passes, then allow the recievers to run the ball after the catch. Mularkey gets a 10 point lead then retreats into his conservative shell, putting the game all on the defense to hold the lead. We only put 3 opponents away this entire year, AZ, CAR, and SEA. All the rest were all decided at the end. Please hire this guy away from us.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
4:01 pm

mountain_jim: I’m just pointing out facts. I’m wouldn’t say that I’m defending him. I just point out his record and the results. Don’t know what you folks are up and arms about. Make your case.

DirtyByrdATLien

February 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

I agree w/you mountain_jim. This is the year the perverbil training will should have came off. Mike had some poorly played called games, and some good called games, no GREAT games. He’s took this offense to the limit, now its time we get someone with a killer instict and that well take this offense over the top

mountain_jim

February 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/110118_tuesday_morning_quarterback&sportCat=nfl

“the last play of the first half was among the worst coaching errors TMQ has seen.”

“Sour Coaching of the Divisionals: Green Bay ahead 21-14, the host Falcons had the ball on the Packers’ 35 with 10 seconds remaining till intermission, out of timeouts. One reason for Atlanta’s string of successes in close games is that the Falcons have Matt Bryant, a strong-legged place-kicker who entered the contest 8-for-11 beyond 40 yards. The game is in a dome, which presents ideal kicking conditions. So let Bryant launch a kick. If it’s 21-17 at the half, Atlanta is in good shape, especially considering the fourth quarter is the Falcons’ best quarter.

That can’t be the offense about to run an extra play! With no timeouts, the play must go either to the sideline or to the end zone, anything else ends the half. Green Bay knows this! Calling cadence, Matt Ryan looked up and saw two Green Bay safeties standing on the goal line — meaning no hope of throwing into the end zone. He saw both Green Bay cornerbacks on the outside shoulders of their receivers, meaning no hope of throwing to the sideline. Because the Falcons had no timeouts, he couldn’t cancel the play and wave for the kicking team. Because it was a 52-yarder from the current spot, Ryan couldn’t take a delay-of-game penalty, which would’ve made the kick a 57-yarder. If he had this play to do over, surely Ryan would have snapped and thrown the ball away, stopping the clock to allow a 52-yard try. He didn’t think of that and instead ran the play the coaches radioed in, a quick out. Undrafted corner Tramon Williams — who made the 2010 TMQ All-Unwanted All-Pros — knew what was coming, cut in front of the receiver and returned the interception 70 yards for a touchdown with no time showing. Down 28-14 at the half, Atlanta was broken.

would go! The reason corners don’t cut in front of outs all the time is that they must defend the many other patterns the receiver might run. In this case, Williams didn’t have to honor any other pattern: he was certain the play would be an out. What a botched call by Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey! Perhaps Mularkey didn’t have his head in the game because he had spent part of the Falcons’ bye week interviewing for the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching vacancy. The Falcons didn’t show any formation or playcalling variation on offense, either. Mularkey was too busy, perhaps, with his résumé to compose an original game plan.

Atlanta had the No. 1 NFC seed largely on the strength of protecting the football and smart coaching; the last play of the first half was among the worst coaching errors TMQ has seen.”

mountain_jim

February 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

Sorry – next to last paragraph chopped: “Green Bay knew exactly where the pass would go! “

CONservative Johnson

February 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, Titans take him away!

Mave2124

February 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

I agree with D-Led…too much hating on a guy that helped the team to 3 winning seasons…my question is if he goes, who does defensive minded Mike Smith turn to to run the offense? Better have a plan, especially since plan B is running the show for the Vikes.

mountain_jim

February 2nd, 2011
4:41 pm

Brian Billick , Tom Clements, maybe. I would be ok with Mularkey if he would just get more creative and open it up a good bit. His best game plan was against Baltimore, then they went back to being too conservative and predictable.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

February 2nd, 2011
5:05 pm

WOW…..this is good news….This article just made my day. Hopefully he will be hired by Tennessee.

BTW…. I’m not hating on Mularkey ….just think that the Falcons can do better with someone that is a little more creative on offense and does a better job of utilizing the talent that is on the team.

GA ALL DAY WAY

February 2nd, 2011
5:30 pm

DL – Now this is NEWS!!! Get’em out there… TD get the defense fixed! Let’s GO!

cg

February 2nd, 2011
5:49 pm

Ok folks, who could fill this spot? Billick?

DJ Sniper

February 2nd, 2011
5:49 pm

According to nfl.com, Saints DC Gregg Williams has withdrawn his name for the position. That leaves Mularkey and Giants DC Perry Fewell as the main candidates. Coincidently, all 3 men have been the HC for the Buffalo Bills at some point.

SawThat1nce

February 2nd, 2011
6:00 pm

I would be surprised if Billick took anything other than a HC job.

Ron Choke Mexico

February 2nd, 2011
6:02 pm

all you blogs experts are right, take him away. Have you noticed that 3 or 4 teams have interviewed the OC you hate so much and no one has asked to interview the DC. Have you noticed this OC took a rookie QB and gave us an avg of 11 wins over 3 seasons. No because all of you think you are better play callers from your lazy-boy.

Ron Choke Mexico

February 2nd, 2011
6:04 pm

FunkybobbyJ, can’t tell these morons anything

Ron Choke Mexico

February 2nd, 2011
6:08 pm

why is this good news? we already have to replace our QB coach…. now another one. ever think this boring offense might be protesting a so-so defense.

The defense is the problem, I’ll say it again, the packers never PUNTED!

DJ Sniper

February 2nd, 2011
6:15 pm

Ron, only one team has interviews Mularkey, and that was Cleveland. He backed out of the Denver interview at the last minute.

I do agree that the defense was the major culprit in our playoff loss, but I blame that more on the play calling by BVG. We do need another pass rusher though.

CONservative Johnson

February 2nd, 2011
6:20 pm

Plan B being gone is why I am even more excited about Mularkey’s possible exit. Musgrave was the same as no plan at all, since he’s proven not to be a good OC in the past . . .

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
6:23 pm

GA ALL THE WAY — Other was what they call a factoid!

SEXY RON MEXY
– We didn’t have to write down the Packers punter’s name. Is is Craig Hentrich still.

D. Orland Ledbetter

February 2nd, 2011
6:49 pm

F’k you all! I quit! I can’t buy new bowties and it hurts me! The Falcons aren’t my team! The Packers are! I quit this site and I’m going to write for the Packers.

Ryan

February 2nd, 2011
7:04 pm

Mr. Ledbetter, If Mularkey leaves, do the Falcons already have someone in mind to replace him? Musgrave is already gone, so would they still look to promote from within or is there someone around the league they have their eye on just in case?

Jakethe SNAKE

February 2nd, 2011
7:05 pm

You guys are so foolish, If the falcons lose mularkey they are screwed. His offense is absolutley perfect for this team, the entire objective is ball control and with our defense being as bad as it is that is the perfect offense. And for those who say our offense should be more creative with screens and down the field think about this for a second… Which one of our old stiff unathletic lineman are going to get down the field and block for our 250 pound non screen running back??? And with our only down the field threat ( Roddy) being double covered the entire game who else will we go deep too?? sure isnt going to be michael jenkins who has proved to be an absolute joke as a deep threat. If MM leaves and we bring in someone who doesnt run his offense our 3 season winning streak will soon be broken.

SirReal

February 2nd, 2011
7:25 pm

@Jake the Snake You’re funny….but in a good way. A lot of what you say here is true whether people believe it or not.LOL BUT……

I think MM should go. I honestly think he did a great job the first couple of seasons….but I think its time for a fresh new approach and he should have another head coaching opportunity. I, presonally would like to see someone new in here that will stick with the power running game but can be a bit more exotic in the passing game and our schemes. basically someone the d cant figure out after about 3-4 series….

henry

February 2nd, 2011
7:33 pm

The one thing tat has made Payton Manning good i that he has had the same OC and/or Offensive system for his entire career. So if MM goes who is the OC? All I am saying is be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Jakethe SNAKE

February 2nd, 2011
7:34 pm

@SirREal, id say getting voted the offensive coordinator of the league by other NFL coaches must mean something. I doubt they voted for some guy who they thought did a bad job. People dont understand that our offense doesnt really have any “big name playmakers”. Ok i understand Roddy is a great reciever but when is the last time he took a 5 yard pas 80 yards?? or Michael Turner break a 70 yard run?? its hard to get exotic when dont have players capable of making big plays.

cwag

February 2nd, 2011
8:47 pm

I think we should be a little concerned even in the Pro Bowl, Ryan passes were more lofted in the air, than accurately arc passes like Brady and Manning throws…

cwag

February 2nd, 2011
8:51 pm

he does’nt have a strong arm…it showed in the Pro Bowl…

falcon hardy

February 2nd, 2011
9:15 pm

PLEASSE TAKE MURLAKEY.IT WILL HELP THE FALCONS FIND A OC THAT HAS MORE THAN 3 PLAYS HE USES THE ENTIRE SEASON. GOOD LUCK IN TENNESSE

[...] from: Tennessee gets permission to interview Mularkey | Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged cleveland, coordinator, february, have-been, [...]

No hope now

February 2nd, 2011
10:13 pm

D-Led, do you know something I us falcon fans don’t?? I understand the fact that we’ve gon 11-5, 9-7, and 13-3. BUT AS A WHOLE FALCONS ORGANIZATION WE GONE THROUGH THAT. You can’t just use all that on murlarkey to defend him. THe only place Murlarkey should be judged is the OFFENSE and it is getting worse every season. Explain us going 8th in total offense, when ryan is a ROOKIE and a baby, to ryan getting better and us dropping to 16TH IN THE LAST 2 SEASONS?? Oh yeah, look up murlarkeys past history, i.e. Steelers, Bills, and Dolphins. Murlarkey brings down offenses wherever he goes. Steelers, 1st year finished in 3rd then finished top 10 WORST. Goes to the bills and brings an already bad offense to finish 28th and gets fired and called out by the GM. Goes to the dolphins and does nothing. MM is slowing us down D-Led….I know you like the guy but he has the “ego” coaching style. MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, instead of adapting to the talents of his players. Theres a reason Gonzalez only catches 5 yrd routes. He isn’t using gonzalez right.

But more importantly, am I the only falcon fan WHO SEES THE IRONY. You mean to tell me now murlarkey might walk, AFTER WE’VE ALREADY LET THE GOLD EGG IN MUSGRAVE LEAVE!!!?? So not only could we lose musgrave BUT MURLARKEY AS WELL?? When would’ve promoted musgrave ANYWAY, if murlarkey left we he had the chance. Thats killing 2 birds with one stone, AND I DON’T MEAN THAT IN A POSITIVE WAY….this is bad news falcons.

No hope now

February 2nd, 2011
10:18 pm

@ henry, I AGREE 100%. Even though Peyton had harrison, wayne, stokely, clark, marshall, james etc. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS TODD MOORE. The dick labeau of offense. But thats the irony, us falcons wanted Musgrave, his QB coach, TO GROW WITH RYAN THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. Thats why musgrave walked when he had the chance. Murlarkey was in his way. Musgrave wanted to stay with Ryan. Thats whats pissing me off, the reason of musgrave leaving, might end up being a complete waste IF MURLARKEY LEAVES. Your right, if murlarkey leaves, THEN WHO IS THERE TO GET?? Musgrave gone, McDaniels in St. Louis, etc. Its garbage man, like I said smitty and TD should’ve fired Murlarkey and promoted Musgrave when they had the chance. NOW WE MIGHT END OF LOSING THEM BOTH.

[...] to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Tennessee Titans have received permission from the Atlanta Falcons  to interview offensive [...]