Around the NFL, the wreckage of a season barely over is still smoldering. Cities like Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are still wondering what happened to once promising years, but that pondering hasn't slowed their pursuit of steady hands at the wheel who can take the place of the guys they shoved off the starboard bow.
Yup, we're going with ship metaphors.
Continuing on, though, it seems that the Falcons are going to lose at least one member of their coaching staff and potentially one member of their front office. One of these developments is being met with universal delight in Atlanta, while the other is a little scarier for fans.
After the jump, an examination.
I think it's fair to say that a lot of Falcons fans would not be sorry to see a giant metal door hitting Mularkey on the posterior on his way out.
We can debate Mularkey's merits until the end of time, but here's how I see it. He's too conservative and predictable by half, and he doesn't really make good use of everyone on his depth chart. He's also a steady hand and he's capable of wearing an opposing defense down. In a league that increasingly features the big play, Mularkey is fast becoming a relic.
The time feels right for a split with the Falcons adding a lot of dynamic young players to the roster—I'm referring to Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers, not Joe Hawley—and really evolving into more of a passing team. Mularkey is perfectly capable of getting quality performances out of the offense, but it really is telling that the Falcons do their best work in the no-huddle.
So where might he be going? At least four teams have been linked to Mularkey, but there are reports swirling that he's the front-runner for the Jacksonville Jaguars job. The team wants a smart, reasonably conservative head coach to work with Blaine Gabbert, and Mularkey fits the bill almost perfectly. I'd say there's a better than 50% chance he's hired.
Who would replace Mularkey if he left Atlanta? Search me. There will be options out there, but the Falcons may be content to promote Bob Bratkowski from quarterbacks coach, as well. Given his reasonably conservative pedigree, not everyone will be thrilled.
This one will concern your average fan more, assuming your average fan has any idea who the hell Les Snead is.
As Thomas Dimitroff's right hand man and the team's director of player personnel, Snead has been instrumental in every Falcons draft since 2008. Again, we can debate the merits of those drafts until we're all dead of oxygen deprivation, but there have been some truly excellent players picked up. No general manager does it alone, and Dimitroff gives a lot of credit to Snead. Losing him can't possibly help the Falcons.
Given that he's been linked to the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams and a few others teams, there's a good chance Snead is heading out of Atlanta to take on a GM job. If that happens, I trust that Dimitroff will continue to surround himself with smart people, but the team unquestionably loses some draft expertise.
I wish him well if he leaves, but I hope Snead sticks around.
Your reaction to these two possibilities?