The playoff bye week is the first opportunity for teams who were too ugly to make the playoff dance to go after coaches with tickets, and they're not wasting any time.
Per D. Orlando Ledbetter, the Falcons have agreed to let the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns speak to Mike Mularkey. Probably the most polarizing member of the coaching staff, Mularkey has presided over the largely successful offenses the Falcons have put on the field over the last three seasons. With the Falcons winning and the way Roddy White, Michael Turner and Roddy White have been playing, it's little surprise he's attracting attention as an potential offensively-minded head coach.
Mularkey was a successful coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers befoer he was tapped as the Buffalo Bills head coach at the beginning of the decade, where he was decent before getting fired and giving way to a calvacade of truly crappy coaches. The Broncos are known to have interest and the Browns are looking at a host of coaches who might be able to mold a cohesive offensive identity out of a rubber band, two buttons and a bag filled with Laffy Taffy.
Good for Mularkey. I'll admit to not being his biggest fan--an overly conservative and sometimes repetitive game plan will do that--but he's done a quality job overall. He's about 800,000 times better than Greg Knapp, for sure. I'd be willing to bet Mularkey is a finalist for the Broncos job, myself, and he's confirmed for an interview there Friday.
While it's a bit of a distraction, I have no reason to doubt what Mularkey himself said Tuesday:
"Right now my total focus is prepping for this next game, whoever it’s against. That’s where I’m at."
Weigh in like a prizefighter.