Originally written on The Jaggernaut  |  Last updated 1/10/12

The Jacksonville Jaguars have their new head coach: former Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey.


What this tells me:
ESPN reported the hiring shortly after 10pm Tuesday night.

First off, the quick hiring tells me that new owner Shahid Khan was not kidding when he told the papers that things would move quickly.

Secondly, this hiring reassures me on my thoughts about Khan – that he is going to the type of owner that Jacksonville has been longing for.

 

Personally, I think the move is a great one. It will benefit Blaine Gabbert, who struggled as a rookie, and it will bring the city a sense of change. Under a new owner, a new head coach and a potential franchise quarterback, the future of Jacksonville can only point up.

Not only does Mularkey - who will be the third coach in Jaguars’ history - bring in a fresh face to the city, but he marks a significant change of mindset to a defensive driven history. This may be a good thing, and it may be a bad thing, but being a defense driven team hasn’t led to too much success in the past decade.

Now before you get all giddy and think that Mularkey will turn the Jaguars into the Packers and throw the ball 50 times a game, he very much pounded the rock in Atlanta with Michael Turner. And if he continues to do the same, things can only bode well as Maurice Jones-Drew is undoubtedly a better running back than Turner.

I thoroughly expect the Jaguars to remain a run-first team for the foreseeable future – however, I think the Jaguars will take more shots down the field (given they get the necessary receivers.)

Now let’s switch gears for a moment. While many will focus solely on Mularkey’s work with Gabbert, don’t forget about one of the other key positions that Mularkey utilized in Atlanta: the tight end.

This hiring does bode well for Gabbert, there is no question that Mularkey will certainly get more out of Gabbert than they did this year, but this hiring means even more to Jaguars’ tight end Mercedes Lewis.

Lewis has been extremely inconsistent his entire career, sometimes not of his own doing, but with Mularkey at the helm, I would be willing to bet that Lewis will see a very prominent role in the new Jaguars offense next season.

But while offensive players like Gabbert and Lewis will likely support and welcome the new hiring, what does this mean for Mel Tucker?

Will Mularkey keep him on as his defensive coordinator? Or will one of the many other coaching vacancies snag him away? I certainly wouldn’t mind keeping him on, as the defense hasn’t looked this good a quite some time, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him go somewhere like Oakland.

Only time will tell how this hiring will go.

Hopefully the hiring will be a good move and I think it will; but if it isn’t the right move, then I hope Shad Khan heeds this warning: Don’t be like completely the Weavers. Don’t let an ineffective coach stay way past his welcome like Jack Del Rio did. Continue to be bold Khan – this move is your first major one in Jacksonville, let us all hope it was the right one.

Fans reactions

Shortly after the hiring, fans took to Facebook to share their praise and frustrations with the hiring on a status update made by the Jaguars page. Largely, they remained skeptical.

Brandon Brooks wrote: “alright i can see the jags doing that because take a look at our offense lets face it we need help so i support this. i just hope he helps gabbert”

John Shorrock wrote: “Should be good for Blaine. Let's do it!”

Cy Wainwright simply wrote: “Garbage”

Larson Data voiced support for Tucker: “This is a great move KEEP TUCKER DONT LET HIM GO.”

Khoi Tran wrote: “I guess we should look at his entire time over at Atlanta rather than the so called game last weekend..here's to moving forward.”

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