Offensive coordinator may be the most criticized job in the entire NFL. If things are buzzing then fans applaud the players. When things are failing the pitchforks come out early. Typically the criticism is quite over the top when coordinators deal with different limitations of their personnel. It’s important to take a deep dive into what they do and how they do it to get real answers.
With that said, the Atlanta Falcons just interviewed the worst offensive coordinator anyone could imagine.
Source tells me Mike Mularkey interviewed today for @AtlantaFalcons offensive coordinator job. He held the position from 2008-2011.— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 2, 2019
Have we not been punished enough? 28-3 and now potentially two Mike Mularkey eras? This man is aggressively unfit to stand within 15 feet of the offense. We can look back at 15 years of Mularkey’s offenses and none of them resemble what Atlanta is striving for. The offensive line is built to move and block downfield. Mularkey’s offense won’t work with a zone blocking scheme, preferring the bigger, less athletic Tyson Clabos and Harvey Dahls to push around defensive linemen.
Not that we need to look at stats to illustrate the problems, but Mularkey was absolutely a hindrance to Matt Ryan and his development as a passer. Ryan’s completion percentage increased 7.3% after Mularkey left and added an extra 650 more passing yards. Mularkey never ran screen passes, refused to throw the ball deep, and his “exotic smash mouth” was tossing in a random gadget play once a game to an ultraconservative game plan. Mularkey was frustratingly stubborn and refusal to do some pretty simple basics. If you want to know why the offense would fall apart in the playoffs it’s because Michael Turner had 350+ touches and was burned up. Mularkey, of course, had no backup plan when the run game stumbled. There was no chance against a good team.
It’s embarrassing Mularkey is even under consideration. His only redeeming quality was giving Ryan the reins late in the fourth quarter when the Falcons were down and wishing him the best of luck. Ryan, of course, excelled in the hurry-up offense and frequently lead the league in 4th quarter comebacks. It’s a weird stat because the conservative offense always had the team behind late in the game.
Per Tom Pelissero, Mularkey could be under consideration for the tight end coach job, however, Marvez clearly said the interview was for the offensive coordinator job.
Former #Titans coach Mike Mularkey has been in touch with NFL teams about OC or position coach jobs, and he interviewed with the #Falcons today, source said. They need an OC as well as a TE coach, where Mularkey has a lot of experience. Was ATL OC from 2008-11.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 2, 2019
If Mularkey ends up the offensive coordinator it is nearly guaranteed Dan Quinn’s time with the Falcons ends after 2019.