As the divisional round of the NFL playoffs is underway this weekend, the worst team in the league announced that their new head coach isn't all that new: the Tennessee Titans announced today that interim head coach Mike Mularkey has been hired as their full-time head coach.
Mularkey was hired as the tight ends coach of the Titans in 2014 and then was promoted to interim head coach seven games into the 2015 season after head coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired. Mularkey went 2-7 with the Titans as interim head coach, helping the team secure the top overall pick in the upcoming draft. In his coaching career, he has had stints as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills (2004-2005), Jacksonville Jaguars (2012), and Jacksonville Jaguars, compiling an 18-39 career record (.316). The move, it seems, is all about maintaining consistency for Marcus Mariota and preventing a coaching change after his first year.
Of course, this hire makes little sense beyond that. The Titans had one of the most appealing head coach vacancies this year with Mariota in place as the franchise quarterback and the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but instead the franchise ended up hiring Mularkey. I understand the desire for consistency, but it shouldn't trump the desire for a winning coach who can have a lot of success - and I'm not sure that Mularkey is that guy. The Titans likely could have had their pick of a number of candidates, and with them being the last vacancy, they could have waited for someone like the Patriots' Josh McDaniels, who is still in the playoffs. Instead, they've hired Mike Mularkey, which is news that will likely make the rest of the AFC South happy.