As we all know, Mike Mularkey came in as head coach and began to shake things up. Whether it’s donating money to the Ronald McDonald house for nto celebrating touchdowns, imposing a silence rule about injuries, or explaining why things are happening to the players, he has made a positive change to Jacksonville’s culture.
But we never really knew what made Mularkey tick. Why were these changes the changes he wanted to make? Did he make them in Buffalo?
All we really knew was that this was the way he wanted to run his team and that he mucked it up when he tried to do too much in Buffalo. That’s fine. Even Lee Evans only spoke about the scheming that Mularkey brings to the table and not about the culture in Buffalo.
Recently, when talking with Minnesota media before the Vikings/Jags game on Sunday, Mularkey talked about the culture of the Vikings and how they should have won more – even a Super Bowl – during his time with the team in the eighties. Mularkey played for the Vikings from 1983-1988.
We were very talented, and some of the things that went on behind the scenes, it was frustrating in that locker room at times for some players to watch situations take place. I’m not going to point out the situations or the players or what they were, but we should have won more games than we did. I think a lot of things that played into it took place in the locker room.
It makes sense that Mularkey would like a new level of professionalism to permeate his team when he’s in charge. He knows what can happen when a talented team just doesn’t come together. You need only look at the Jets last year, the Vikings with Brett Favre and Brad Childress, or the disgruntled players in 49ers locker room for years. I even cited the Vikings failure to be cohesive for decades recently when talking in the comments on the site. It just ruins teams.
Fortunately, Mularkey learned from his experience as a tight end with the team and has been changing the culture here in Jacksonville. With the Maurice Jones-Drew holdout the emphasis was about building a team without him. It is the decision of some players to be media hogs, to pursue their own interets, to remove themselves from being part of the team. It happens. Mularkey knew this and knew that it’s about bringing together the players he can to create a squad that can be effective.
The 2012 Jaguars are not the Vikings from the ’80s. The talent simply isn’t there. But by being a cohesive team that buys into the same vision they can be so much more than the sum of their parts.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims