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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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Joe Philbin supporters, you also have to consider Matt Flynn's leaving GB whether Philbin leaves or not. Hiring Philbin doesnt neccessarily dictate where Matt Flynn lands.

Money and starting qb opportunity will be chief in determining that.

Find a way to hire Mike Shula. He is a younger Shula.

Has Ireland been fired yet?


I mention Mangini strictly because ever since the post Shula era this franchise has been "all over the board" in many things that they do.

As dolfans, "WE ALL" should know by now that we can never rule out the unexpected. If youre doing this now, obviously you've been sleeping underneath a bridge for the past 13yrs.

Im not saying these things will definitely happen. But as a dolfan over the past 13yrs, Ive definitely learned to never rule anything out with the current dysfunction of our organization.

Does Bowles have the god-given talent to lead men into battle?

Is he a "born leader"?

Sure, the guy knows football that's pretty evident, but is he a true leader?

That's what I'm looking for, someone who can lead a group of diverse, alpha-driven men week in and week out.

Nothing surprises me any YG, but I sure hope you're wrong

As will comfort with the system, and having Philbin provides an advantage. Given the Dolphins woes, we need every advantage we can get.

I think Philbin is the guy and I think the Dolphins will go out of their way to get Flynn if Philbin endorses it.

Bowles? Not a chance. Ireland isn't a brain surgeon but even he knows the facts concerning in-house promotions and the probability of reaching the Superbowl.

We will hire an outside guy. That guy won't be Fisher unless the Rams blow it. Fisher did more due diligence with Sam Bradford than he did meeting with the Dolphins.

The Gods have smiled upon the Dolphins and we have averted the disaster Fisher, Cowher, Gruden, or Billick would have wreaked upon the team.

The fool Steven Ross thinks he has his "young Bobby Beathard in Jeff Ireland".

Only time will tell if he thinks "Eric Mangini" his his "Young Don Shula".

If the Dolphins don't get Fisher it does not matter who they get it will be a let down. Owner Stephen Ross has once again put himself in a position to be rediculed. The Dolphins stated openly that they would get an experienced name coach to lead the franchise. But it looks like Fisher will do what Harbaugh did last year and leave Ross standing alone at the Altar. All of his other interviews have been with candidates that are no better than Tony Sporano. At this point I feel there are three choices. Keep Tod Bowles and the status quo. Swing for the fences and try hiring a young energetic coach and hope that it works out or Hire Marty Schottenheimer. He still has a respected name in the league and may give the Dophins stability for the short term.

LOL this is too funny... Now bringing home our own trash!!

Back To The Draft:

If not able to trade up for RGIII. Miami's primary concern should be refocused to "RED ZONE woes.

The question they should be asking themselves is: "What player gives us the best chance to address this"?

Hmm.... Justin Blackmon had 15 regular season recieving td's, 3 in the bowl game, for a total of 18 2011-12 recieving td's. Brandon Marshall led all Dolphin recievers with only 6 recieving td's. There's your RED ZONE issues in a nutshell.

Blackmon alone could improve our 2012-13 offensive scoring average by nearly 7pts(td) per game. This guy is an absolute awesome red zone addition.

I just don't get it. You either look at the coach's record: Fishstache--mediocre, Mularkey--pathethic, or you don't. Why does Fishstache get the benefit of all of these excuses for his decades of 8-8, but Sparano gets none when the lockout clearly killed us? Can you seriously say that Mularkey offers anything over Sparano, Daboll, Nolan? The whole thing is change for change's sake, and it will bite us.

Justin Blackmon won't be available at 8 or 9. So you are going to have to trade up for him.


Where I find fault with Ross is not with his intentions but with how he goes about things. I am sure he wants to do the right thing and please the fans. It's logical. Happy fans means fanny's in the seats. However, his end results, and in the end that is how everyone is always judged, havebeen lacking.

Fisher's overrated, he guaramntees nothing but being a perrenial 500 win percentage team. Im sure if he's here 17yrs, we will reach the playoffs 5 times and eventually make 1 sb.


Exactly! Trade the 2nd rd pick if we have to. This fo has been notorious for screwing up 2nd rd picks anyway.

Using our 2nd rd pick to move up and get Blackmon not only gives us an instant impact offensive player. It also prevents the clown Ireland from again screwing up a 2nd rd pick.

The longer this coaching search goes the more it reminds me of the coaching search after Nick Saban left. We spent over a month interviewing people and came up with Cam Camaron. I wonder If Sporano would take his job back (lol)

jrs, theres more to being an owner than writing checks. Ross pursued harbaugh w/out an opening. It was widely reported that they tried to contact Cowher too & he told Miami that he woudn't consider it w/Sparano still coach.

Ross acted imcompetently & in a classless manner. People noticed! Good intentions, yes. Bad execution.

Big name coaches want some say. I don't think it's just coincidence that Fisher is interviewing in Maimi(iffy GM) & St. Louis (No GM) & not in Tampa or Jacksonville who have 1.

First sign of a bright hc is where he accepts his opening.

1. Bellichick choose The Pats over the Jets.

2. Harbaugh chose the Niners over Miami

Just a small sampling size. LOL

If You Need More:

Gruden/Cowher will probably be Indy's next hc should they fire thier current head coach.

Face it dolfans, Joe Robbie, Thomas/Beathard, and Don Shula wont be walking thru those doors in 2012. These are the names that made this franchise great.

The names that have come after these names have plummeted this franchise into mediocrity. Without a total overhaul from the highest highs to the lowest lows, this aint gonna change anytime soon.

Dolfans, "DENIAL" isnt a river in Egypt!

There are too many holes to give up multiple picks to take a shot at RG3 and it would cost a 1, 2, and more. Blackmon goes to Jacksonville at the latest and it would take a 1 and 3 to get there according to the trade chart.

We are all dreaming. Miami will select a G or a T with the first pick. Start getting ready now to be mad.

Our best hope is Miami gets Flynn in FA and he is a superstar.

New Coach Wanted,

The best solution might be for the Dolphins to hire Green Bay OC Joe Philbin and then he signs/trades for Matt Flynn.

New Coach Wanted,

Where the hell do you get giving up a 1st and 1nd rd pick for Blackmon? We're sitting at 8-9. That's way out of the value system.

Heck, we could also target shutdown corner Morris Claiborne. We can trade down pick up an extra 2nd rd pick ourselves and still draft Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffries wide reciever mid to bottom 1st rd.

Posted by: SEARCH THIS!!! | January 09, 2012 at 11:52 AM

good luck getting that know it all to admit he's wrong.

Yesterdays Gone,
Read my post again. I said a first and a third. Thats 1630 points. That is just slightly more than the 6th pick.

That has been my suggestion all along. Get Philbin and then Ireland must get Flynn if Philbin thinks its the best move.

And, of course, for us to take advantage, we must have another receiver, a receiving TE, and the line must be fixed.

Enough with all this Mularkey crap.

If we cant get Luck or RG3, I say we come away with the next best pick and if needed, trade up to get him. YES.. You read that right.. Trade to secure him before someone else gets him.

WR Blackmon is a rare find, a once every once in a while WR that has unbelievable hands, and can jump 11' ft. YES.. 11ft and mechanics to zero in and catch the uncatchable.

This kid IS IT. If we don't grab him we once again will get to watch him terrorize us and the NFL in the right situation.

I believe that picking Blackmon will open up a new world for the Dolphins. I seen this kid make catches that 99% of other receivers would NEVER make.

Even a sub par QB can make throws to him and he will come down with the ball.

Just think... We had the marks brothers terrorizing the NFL with Dan's throws.

Brandon and Blackmon will be named the Beastie Boys and with Reggie running all over the place including play action, we use our TE or draft another one and I see us potentially winning the East.

Ok, you decide and take a look for yourself.

Sport Science: Justin Blackmon

NY "G",

I like Blackmon and want to see him in a Dolphin uniform, but how much would you give up to get him?

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