Cutting Through The Mularkey: How We Ended Up With Our New Coach


"Editor’s Note:  This is another post from Black and Teal’s latest writer, Daniel Lago."

It’s been a long, strange journey with appearances by Rob Chudzinski, Brian Schottenheimer, Mel Tucker and heck, we even got stood up by Bill O’Brien.

So how did we end up with Mike Mularkey? Find out after the jump.

Love him or hate him, Gene Smith has a concrete draft philosophy: best available player (BAP). So why should we think his approach to hiring a head coach would be any different? Again, not all Jaguar fans are Gene Smith fans. But there’s a reason Gene Smith is respected among NFL circles: he does his homework, researches as much as possible to make the best choice, and he doesn’t hesitate to make that decision.

So why the analogy to the draft? Because when the team decided to fire Jack Del Rio midseason, they effectively gained the “first overall pick”, so to speak, in the coaching search. The Jaguars were the first team to make a move and publicly state their intent to hire a new coach. There’s no doubt that after the announcement Gene started focusing his duties squarely on the coaching search. He likely had some ideas about who to investigate well before Jack Del Rio was let go, but after it became official he assuredly adopted a draft mentality. Gene did his due diligence on each candidate, discussed with Mr. Khan, and created a “Big Board” of all the candidates for the interviews.

Gene already knew the credentials of each candidate going into the interviews – all he really needed to see was how each candidate planned on fitting into Gene’s vision of the team moving forward. When Mularkey met those expectations in the interview there was no need to wait and he pulled the trigger. Gene is a long term thinker and he knows he shouldn’t waste time when the coach he wants is sitting right in front of him.

So what’s the next step in Gene’s diabolical plan? Well, the Jaguars have the second overall pick in the “Assistant Coach” draft (Kansas City beat us to the punch by hiring Romeo Crennel). Not a bad plan.

– Daniel Lago