Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey

Posted Jan 10, 2012
Aaron Wilson

The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as their new head coach Tuesday night, the team announced. He'll be introduced formally at a press conference Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I cannot wait to introduce Mike Mularkey ... as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars," Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said in a statement early Wednesday. "Mike recognizes the challenge and opportunity before all of us, and that's to make the Jacksonville Jaguars one of the premier franchises in the National Football League, bar none. In simple terms, Mike is aiming high and that's why he will be here in Jacksonville with us later [Wednesday]. We'll see everyone soon. Go Jaguars!"

The Jaguars are hoping that Mularkey can energize the NFL's last-ranked offense.

The former Buffalo Bills head coach replaces fired coach Jack Del Rio.

Mularkey lasted two seasons in Buffalo, going 9-7 and 5-11 before re-signing as he cited a disagreement with the direction of the organization

This marks the first big move by Khan, who purchased the team from Wayne Weaver.

Mularkey has done well working with Falcons coach Matt Ryan except for a 24-2 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday where the offense failed to score a single point.

Ryan passed for a career-high 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. Mularkey will be needed to revitalize the career of quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars' first-round draft pick who struggled as a rookie.

Drafted 10th overall, Gabbert passed for 2,214 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as the Jaguars finished 5-11 under Del Rio and interim coach Mel Tucker.

Mularkey will have some talent to work with, including Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew is the NFL rushing champion, gaining a league-high 1,606 yards.

Mularkey played collegiately at the University of Florida and in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He interviewed for the Jaguars job today with Khan and general manager Gene Smith.

According to the Associated Press, the Jaguars also interviewed Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, Tucker and former New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more coverage of the NFL, go to Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

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