Atlanta Falcons tight ends coach Mike Mularkey is retiring from coaching, a surprising move after he got a lot of credit for a career-best year from Austin Hooper and the positive development of young tight end Jaeden Graham.
Mularkey will likely be replaced by Ben Steele, the Falcons’ offensive assistant who was Dirk Koetter’s tight ends coach in Tampa Bay.
Tight ends coach Mike Mularkey has announced his retirement.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 9, 2020
STORY - https://t.co/6ZCVdM6GMr
Look for Falcons offensive assistant Ben Steele to be the tight ends coach replacing Mularkey. Steele coached tight ends in Tampa Bay for Koetter— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) January 9, 2020
Mike Mularkey served as the Falcons tight ends coach in 2019, and previous served as the offensive coordinator from 2008-2011 before leaving to become the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also served as the head coach of the Titans from 2016-2017, and remained a lover of exotic smashmouth until the end. Mularkey also played tight end in the NFL from 1983-1991 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.
During his time in Atlanta, Mularkey unquestionably did some good things, even if his offense seemed outdated and shaky by the time he left the Falcons in 2011. His ground-first attack with Michael Turner was the perfect starting point for Matt Ryan’s career and helped turn Turner into a legend in Atlanta, and under Koetter, guys like Roddy White, Harry Douglas, and Michael Jenkins flourished.
“I’ve been blessed to do this for a long time and have a lot of great memories from the game I love,” Mularkey said via AtlantaFalcons.com. “I’ve also missed a lot of time with my family who I love and who has supported me so much throughout my career. I am looking forward to spending even more time with them and making even more memories.”
On the same day that the Falcons’ fill their secondary coach position by hiring Joe Whitt Jr., the team now has a tight ends coach spot to fill. Steele, who is also going to be one of the head coaches in the East-West Shrine Bowl, is the logical candidate and the reported one at the moment. Previously, Steele served under Dirk Koetter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the tight ends coach from 2017-2018.