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Murlarkey's rise from failed TE coach to HC candidate

Mike Mularkey, who reportedly will interview for the Dolphins head coach job this week, gained a solid albeit unspectacular NFL reputation as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator. The Fort Lauderdale-born former tight end parlayed that reputation into a job as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

It didn't go too well.

Yes, he did outstanding work his first season -- after an 0-4 start -- and rallied the team to a 9-7 finish. But his second season was dogged by QB problems, as neither JP Losman nor Kelly Holcomb could produce enough to keep the Bills from finishing 24th in the NFL on offense.

After that season, the Bills hired Marv Levy as the defacto general manager and he wasn't a big Mularkey fan. The coach "resigned" and was then hired by Nick Saban to be his offensive coordinator for the 2006 season.

That didn't go well, either. The Dolphins averaged 16.3 points per game that season. Miami scored 20 points or more in only six of 16 games that year. Miami was 20th in total offense. Mularkey's play-calling was questionable and Saban often threw him under the bus to the point Mularkey didn't exactly love his boss.

His next boss, Cam Cameron, kept Mularkey on the staff but demoted him to tight ends coach. That was short-lived also. Those Dolphins were 1-15 and obviously everyone failed. And pretty much everyone got canned.

When the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland administration took over, Mularkey was fired. He was dismissed on January 8, 2008 along with all the other assistants.

Mularkey went to Atlanta and immediately was credited with making Michael Turner a fine starting running back, turning Matt Ryan into a good starting quarterback and generally handling the tons of talent on the Atlanta offense well. Atlanta finished 10th in scoring in 2008, then 13th in 2009, then 5th in 2010 and seventh in 2011.

But ...

Is what Mularkey did in Atlanta truly worthy of making him a head coach?

Parcells and Ireland (before Sparano was hired) decided Mularkey should not be retained as an assistant but now Ireland and owner Stephen Ross have him on their head coach short list? He wasn't good enough to hire as the tight end coach four years ago but he deserves a head coach interview?

People around the NFL run hot and cold on Mularkey. Some like him for running a balanced offense. Some dislike him for running an offense that depends too much on talent and doesn't present enough updated looks and problems to defenses. I was not a big fan of his play-calling back in the day.

Mularkey, by the way, is free to interview with the Dolphins now because the Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday. The Falcons were crushed 24-2 by the Giants.

The Dolphins scored 17 points against the G-Men back in October with offensive talent not considered to be nearly as good as Atlanta's. The Falcons scored two points Sunday with better talent. In fact, Mularkey's offense was outscored by the Giants ... and his own defense.

Because Mularkey's offense was shut out.

After the game, some Falcons players were not too thrilled with Mularkey's approach or his play-calling that included two failed quarterback sneaks on fourth-and-1. There's this from Jason Cole's game story on YahooSports!

"Rather than challenge defenses with aggressive play-calling, Atlanta has played scared.

“We talked about trying to establish the running game because we didn’t think we could pass protect,” said Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who was limited to five catches for 52 yards with a long of only 21 yards. “We played right into their hands. I mean, if they sack us every down and we can’t move the ball, OK. But let’s try.”

"White’s remarks echo private comments of several other players who have pointed at a disconnection who offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey’s approach. Numerous players believe Mularkey is too conservative, particularly in tense situations like the playoffs.

Or as one player put it: “Something has to be said to [coach] Mike [Smith] this offseason.”



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Ireland is a jackazz and so is Ross for not recognizing it.

Anthony, I live in SoCal and I can't see the Dolphins moving to LA. Presently, there is no stadium built yet because there are still two dueling proposals. The city wants as much tax revenue out of the proposals as possible and it'll put a squeeze on any team's bottom line. Secondly, Ross is a billion dollar in the hole with the Dolphins, but at least he owns Sun Life Stadium. Why would he incur more dept in the relocation plus have to lease out a stadium from another billionaire developer? What would he do with an empty Sun Life Stadium? Unless another football team moves to Miami and buy the stadium from him, it aint gonna happen.

Did Ireland ask Fisher if his momma's a hooka?

The funniest thing would be if they rehired Sparano! Would never happen, but still shows what a bunch of clowns Ross and Ireland are.

Would love to see that press conference...

P.S. Most of you probably won't have to put up with me much longer. After 30+ years as a Dolphin fan and season ticket holder I have about had it. First the initial shock of Ireland not getting fired. And now this mess. Maybe I will hop back on in 3-4 years after they fire Ireland and blame him for this mess.

Hey Craig, when will you start accusing me of being someone else?

Please learn how to read! I stated FACTS, but not the one you think you read.

I claimed these as facts:

The Jags have a GM in place.
So do the Bucs.
Fisher didn't interview there

Which is untrue? Give it a shot!

I even asked if it was irony or coincidence he didn't interview there!

It's a completely realistic & completely logical explanation as to why he didn't! I don't expect you to understand either.

Then I said Ireland is a GM on shaky ground The Rams didn't have a GM.
Thats where he did interview.

AGAIN, which of those is NOT a fact? Please, tell us!

If you can't grasp the content of the post, especially those not directed to you, please do us all a favor & ignore it. You're making yourself look like an even bigger as* than you already did!


The Dolphins stadium is a dump. It wreaks of urine and the food vendors have been sighted by the health dept for a zillion violations. I believe its the oldest stadium in the NFL. Sun Life is not renewing their contract. The Marlins even got out. The Fins need a new domed stadium so its going to be a huge expense either way.

The Miami Dolphins = The Worst Franchise in Pro Sports

Posted by: MDR


Not true. But what was once one of the best is now one of the worst. At least for the last decade.

What you have to give credit to is the players. They played with a lot of heart after starting 0-7. I feel bad for the players.

Did Ireland ask Fisher if his momma's a hooka?

Posted by: MDR | January 09, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Search This = joe Schmoe

Craig works for the Miami Dolphins.

Definitely a PLANT.

and so it begins hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Irlandsucks........i respect your opinions on here, so don't take this the wrong way, but anyone who leaves a team as a fan for 3-4 years then comes back later is not a fan, no matter how bad it gets.

The Lions and Browns have been through some of the worst crap and decades of losing teams, but still have true fans that stick it out with their team.

If HennePuke wouldnt have gotten injured we would gave Andrew Luck AND Jeff Fisher.

Been there,done that.I really want Fisher but it looks like he really wants the Rams.I don't blame him,they have a young talented starting QB in place,and he gets to help pick the GM to work with,not Ireland.Plus they have an owner that doesn't mettle,along with the #2 draft pick.Plus the fact that he would have to deal with Marshall & his attitude.I would go Zimmer & hire a good offensive coordinator.He's tough & one of the best D-Coordinators in the league.


Clown Show

Man...some of you....most of you need a reality check and a little perspective.

I keep reading all of this crying about the Phins interviewing "2nd and 3rd tiere" coaching prospects. "All these other teams are going to land XXX as HC while the Phins flounder"....etc, etc, etc.

First off, it's only an interview. 2ndly, exactly whom would be the "1st tiere" candidates? What awesome HC are these other teams going to land that Miami isn't interviewing?

In my estimation, the only "1st tiere" guy available (and I say that with a grain of salt) is Fisher....whom the Phins have interviewed and done everything they can to land him. Ultimately it's Fisher's decision, and I don't think Miami is necessarily out of the running. It's a big decision that he could go back and forth on this coming week. At anyrate, we'll know soon enough.

After that....where are the other "tiere 1" guys that you all so desperately want? They don't exist. There's no "Harbaugh" this year coming out of college. There are no other named coaches (other than Billick and if you listend to his interview last week, you would rather put off as I was). That leaves coordinators (which they are interviewing...and generally where the "next great HC" comes from)...and re-tread coordinators (with HC experience but failed) and they're interviewing them as well.

I'm not sure what magical result you all are looking for. The availability of a particular prospect is out of the control of the franchise and owner. That would seem an obvious statement....but obviously, it is not judging by the posts on this blog.


You should REPOST that 100n times....

Just what we need another conservative coach. Watch Green Bay, New Orleans, the Pat's, they never take the foot off the gas pedal and they are all favorites to win the Super Bowl. Heck even Tom Coughlin is learning this is the way to go in the NFL, never stop scoring!!!

Look to these organizations for our next HC!

I hope we get a good player in the draft.

Chatrooming with you guys is fun because you're smart and funny.

Why not Mike Shula, OC for good Tampa Bay team, HC for Bama, he's got as much credentials as any of these other bozos. Bring back the respect with tradition.

dr. roberts,

What Herald reporting are you talking about? The blogs Mando puts up about which candidate is being interviewed with no depth or substance? The ones dealing with his number 1 man crish, Jason Taylor and what shoes he's wearing that day? Or the ones that beg us to follow him on Twitter which would continue to tell us anything.

I don't remember the last time I got any news from The Herald reporters. If anything, I get more from the fellow posters and Omar at the SS. Omar is a tool but seems to be a little more ambitious.


Personally, I think the top 2 upstarts in coaching from teh college level are Mike Gundy from Oklahoma State and David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal. Both these guys seems to have the pulse of modern day football and are young, wise, and aggressive. however, neither are mentioned in any coaching vacancies.

Just what we need another conservative coach. Watch Green Bay, New Orleans, the Pat's, they never take the foot off the gas pedal and they are all favorites to win the Super Bowl. Heck even Tom Coughlin is learning this is the way to go in the NFL, never stop scoring!!!

Look to these organizations for our next HC!

Posted by: Dead Fish | January 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Liking Philbin for the reasons above. I don't see an issue with interviewing such candidates as Mularky, seems like due diligence. As long as we get the right guy in the end.

Excellent post by Wolfman at 12:39.......GO READ IT!

Wolfman, agreed...But having said that, I think the reason why most fans are upset is because of this interview with Mularkey. I mean c'mon, Mularky?? Seriously? Why not Cam Cameron while we're at it? I understand Fisher is the only "top tiere" guy but I hope to God we can do better than Mularkey (assuming we don't end up with Fisher)...

Mularkey is synonymous with S@$T. He should not be on any of Miami's lists. If Ross and Ireland hire him for any job..or if he gets HC...I might really consider a ban...

I posted it here a few weeks ago, and now that the search is on and the fins have yet to interview a college HC, I'm going to mention it again...I think they should bring Lane Kiffin in for an interview. Why? Because he has NFL head coaching experience and, in my opinion, was not given a fair shake in his time at Oakland. Sparano was given 4 years as HC, Kiffin was only allowed 1 full season and 4 games. I also don't believe that anyone could have done much better at Oakland, at that time (another opinion).

Kiffin is young, offensive minded, has a football pedigree, and would most likely bring a wealth (buffet?) of knowledge with him in the form of his Father, Monte Kiffin.

If you're looking for a coach to be young, innovative, and experienced, how could you not consider him among the candidates?

Funny, I read the St, Louis Post Dispatch article by Jim Thomas...in the Sun Sentinel.

Blog, Lane is good, but can you get that guy to stay in one place or will he leave the first chance he gets?

That Tennessee to USC switch really tainted that guy for me.

Kiffin is tainted for sure

When you are as desperate as the Dolphins are, mularkey is on the list!!

Mark in Toronto @ 12:55 -

Perhaps neither have been mentioned because neither have expressed any interest in becoming NFL head coaches. Not every college coach wants to be an NFL coach. Generally, a college coaches desire to coach at the next level are telegraphed and leaked out. There is very rarely a "college surprise" where people didn't know said coach was looking to move to the NFL.

NTM...the Stanford coach has only been in place 1 year and is pretty much coaching Harbaugh's team....I'd need to see a bit more from him.

What about rob chudzinsky

MiT, I think the bigger problem would be that he made that switch because USC was a dream job for him, and now the challenge would be to get him to leave it.

Here's an intangible...and kind of a weird observation, I admit...as enamored with star quality as Ross is, I would think that he'd be very interested in having his own little Camelot down there in Miami. In other words, check out Mrs. Kiffin....she would make a very attractive first lady.

Blog Fodder @ 1:05 - Kiffin has publicly stated that he has no ambition to coach in the NFL right now. Not all great college coaches are interested in the NFL. Many are quite content to stay where they are.

Who's to say Miami hasn't contacted him and he told them exactly what he has said publicly...."I'm not interested in coaching in the NFL right now".

That goes for a great many college coaches right now. There aren't really any that have put themselves out there this year. You really only get a couple of great college candidates every couple years or so, so this shouldn't really be all that surprising.

thanks for the information, I wasn't aware that he'd made a statement and you're right, the fins may have contacted him. Who knows? I just hadn't seen his name mentioned by the Herald at any point.

He's got a good thing going at USC and they're about to come off probation.

With Fisher apparently going to the Rams, it would be great if the Dolphins could make a bold move and go get Jay Gruden.

Comparisons to "a young Don Shula" may be unfair for anyone to live up to, but this guy is the real deal and offensive minded. It would be a plus for him to work and develop any young QB we have or will getting.

Wish I had more confidence in Ross, but he has been nothing but a buffoon. Things could get very strange in the next few weeks.

Anyone else see what our organization going through a direct result of what Nick Saban did? He took a lot of lustre off this franchise by dumping us for Alabama. Bill Parcells only furthered it.

I have a tendency to think that in reality there is often very little football knowledge separating most of these candidates. All of these guys know football or they wouldn't be where they are. I think the usual things that separate succesful teams and coaches are:

1) First and foremost, the ability to assemble quality players, especially a QB. Belichick, for all his success, was a very average coach until he had Tom Brady. The coaches for the Packers, Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. No one would be looking to hire their assistants if they had Joey Harrington, Ryan Leaf, etc. as their QB's. Why? Because they would suck. Player personnel decisions both in the draft and free agency. So this is more on the GM than coaches. I don't love Ireland, but he has not shown himself to be a total imbecile in my opinion either. Should we have sold the farm for Orton? No, and he didn't. Has he found some diamonds in the rough? Yes, Wake, Bess, Vontae, etc. You better have some player depth too. Players get hurt ALL the time, putting everything you have into just a few players is foolhardy.

2) Ability to assemble a quality group of coaches that will be on the same page, working in harmony. If you want them to make 3 left turns, you better make sure they all like circles.

3) Ability to communicate to and motivate those assembled players and coaches. You have to get that buy-in. If you believe, and can convince them to believe, you are in business.

4) Flexibility and ability to be introspective. In my opinion, you need to be able to re-evaluate constantly to make sure you are game planning best for your personnel.

The "young Don Shula" comment should never have been made. It's a virtually impossible standard to live up to....just like looking for the "next Dan Marino".

These are things that the franchise and fanbase need to get over if they're ever going to move forward.

Do the Steelers ever refer to Tomlin as the "next Cowher"? I've certainly never heard that. Do the 49ers refer to Harbaugh as the "next Walsh"....never heard that either.

The franchise and the fans spend too much time living in the past. When you spend all of your time living in the past, it becomes very difficult to plan for the future.

The fact the Dolphins are even interviewing Mike Mularkey is ridiculous.

Wolfman, great post at 1:32. Ross is learning on the job & he just makes too many amateur mistakes.

An owner should really not be talking too much. But, since our GM is hiding in his bunker, Ross has to pick up the slack.

Maybe they should interview Rich Kotite.

Mark, thanks for the update bro. ALoco likes to spread gossip, unfortunately for him I have a job that gives time off (that's what happens when you don't work in a sweatshop).

But I came back thinking it'd be all love and harmony on the Dolphins blog. NOPE! Mistaken again. Knives are out and everyone hates everyone. Ain't it grand to be home! LOL.

There's even a guy accusing US (the fans) for not being able to attract a star HC. Did you guys see that? It's not the Owner, not the GM, it's us FANS who are to blame, because we're too negative (like we should be kissing the team's arse for not getting to the SB in 3 decades).

Anyway fellas, on this HC search, we'll just have to sit back and let it play out. I watch A LOT of football, am on here all the time (ask ALoco) and do my own research on other players/teams as part of my fantasy due diligence. And the truth of the matter is, I don't know half of these people. Philbin, never heard the name before he came to interview here. New Coach said yesterday he draws up the game plans on offense, news to me. I certainly don't know enough to say whether a guy would make a good coach (besides failures from the past like Mularkey).

So I'm going to just see what happens. Best thing to do with this team is expect the worst and pray for the best. And usually your prayers go unanswered.

Besides the terrible job done on him by Tomlin and LeBeau, the Tebow phenomenon could be explained as the type of athlete that are coming into the NFL nowadays. Bigger(much bigger), stronger, faster and with a different mindset than athletes of only 20(maybe 10 years ago. And, of course, the NFL is not the same as it was and It must adapt to these phenoms. My opinion.

Maybe they should fire weasel Ireland.

Here is Mike Zimmer's resume:

QB, LB, Illinois State, 1974-76
Assistant Coach, Missouri, 1979-80
Assistant Coach, Weber State, 1983-88
Defensive Coordinator, Washington State, 1989-93
Assistant Coach, Dallas Cowboys, 1994-99
Defensive Coordinator, Dallas Cowboys, 2000-06
Defensive Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons, 2007
Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals, 2008-present

Its those 7 years in Dallas that worry me...it has 'Parcels' written all over it!

Zimmer - Next Please
Mularkey - Next Please
Toub - Really, special teams coach - Next Please
Philbin - Can anyone say Cam Cameron?

I don't like any of these guys, come on Ross...get your head in the game and find some real talent!

I am officially on the boat: Hire Todd Bowles. Considering the remaining candidates, and frankly, including Fisher, I have not been, nor am excited with Miami's coaching candidates. I think we should have at least interviewed Schotty, Sr., but the masterminds running this organization did not want to talk with the guy. I feel his age and Ireland's lack of age, killed that possibility. Hire Bowles, let our offense continue to grow under Daboll and Moore. Possibly, we trade up in the draft to get RG3, or draft Weeden in the 2nd if he's there. If not, give Moore another target by drafting Blackmon. Pick up an OLB in later rounds and head into next season. Hiring a new coach just for the sake of change will only hurt us in this instance. I think Bowles is a better candidate than ANYONE we have talked to.

I told all you morons way back in preseason that it would be a good thing to have Tim Tebow as your QB. Now he's got a playoff victory. When was the Fins' last playoff victory again?

Did Ireland ask Bowles if his momma's a hooka?

"Murlarkey" is a pseudonym equilavent to:


ENUFF SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Winning solves everything doesn't it?

Just look at Tebow. If you win, no one cares about the other stuff. If you lose, everyone cares about everything. Peyton Manning won games. Not a lot of big shows though. I guess one Superbowl win is enough to make him a QB God. BUT, he won games consistently. Until Miami starts to win games consistently, they will never be nothing again.

For better or for worse. Fisher has won a lot of games. We need someone in here that knows how to put together .500 PLUS seasons year in and year out.

Soooo, He gets fired by Ireland as a TE coach, and now Ireland wants him as a head coach.

NICE GMing Ireland!!

Ross wont consider Billick, who can coach, but will consider Marlarley who cant coach period. Why am I not surprised.

Eric Mangini's name hasnt beeen mentioned in any hc interviews. Still, it hasnt been reported anywhere Mangini isnt seeking to hc again in the nfl. Not even from Mangini himself.

As a dolfan, this is a little scary to me. The only hc position he wouldnt have to interview for is here in Miami. He already has a direct link with Steven Ross.

yes formfactor, I did notice that. thank you for being one of the few here who is not a total moron.

Hate to say it, but of all our hc interviews after Fisher, Mangini maybe the 2nd best candidate. He easily has far more hc experience than the "coordinator/assistants" candidates we've interviewed.

Welcome back DC........the knives have been out the entire time you were gone, with some of the craziest fights I've seen on here, lol

Maybe we should just stick with Bowles and see what happens, if he doesn't work out then see who's out there in the next few years?

I know we need consistency, but we for sure DO NOT need to settle on someone.

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