UPDATE: The Jacksonville Jaguars have confirmed the hiring of former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their third head coach.
The Florida Times-Union is reporting, through a source, that the Jaquars have hired Mike Mularkey as their new head coach.
FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is interviewing for the vacant head coach position with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Les Snead, the team’s director of player personnel is interviewing for the general manager’s post in St. Louis, today.
He’s set to interview with Miami later in the week.
Should Mularkey land the Jacksonville or Miami job, he could take a couple of assistant coaches with him. There has been very little turnover from Smith’s original staff. With former defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder’s swift departure to the college ranks, five of the original 16 members have moved on to other jobs.
Mularkey was a candidate last season for head coaching jobs in Cleveland and Denver. He interviewed with Cleveland, but withdrew from the Denver search. Cleveland hired Pat Shurmur and Denver hired John Fox.
Mularkey’s son Patrick is a scouting assistant with the Jaguars. He wants to be a head coach again. He was Buffalo’s head coach in 2004-05 and posted a 14-18 record.
Mularkey and former offensive coordinator 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 better units which has powered the team to a 43-21 record and three trips to the playoffs.
Mularkey is attractive because of his background in coaching power football. Jacksonville also needs someone to develop quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who struggled in his first year in the league. Miami will likely be in the market for a quarterback in the draft.
Mularkey was Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2006 and their tight ends coach in 2007.
Mularkey’s unit was stymied in the 24-2 loss to the New York Giants in the NFC wild-card playoff game on Sunday. The Falcons were 4 of 14 on third downs and 0 for 3 on fourth downs as they were kept out of the end zone.
Jacksonville dismissed Jack Del Rio this season. He was replaced on an interim basis by Mel Tucker. Miami parted ways with Tony Sparano.
After the 2010 season, Mularkey was selected as the coordinator of the year by The Sporting News.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog