FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, the former head coach of the Buffalo Bills, will interview for the vacant Jacksonville position, Atlanta head coach Mike Smith confirmed on Monday.
Mularkey, who also was a candidate for the Cleveland and Denver jobs last year, is scheduled to meet with Atlanta media on Tuesday. The Jaguars are believed to be looking for an offensive-minded coach to help groom quarterback Blaine Gabbert, a first-round pick in 2011.
Mularkey is seen as having helped to develop Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan from the time he was drafted into an instant success in the NFL. Ryan played in the Pro Bowl last season and was rookie of the year in 2008.
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“There was a request,” Smith said. “And I think you might be alluding to the report out earlier today. There is, Mike Mularkey has — they requested an opportunity to talk to Mike Mularkey and, really, the league has a policy in place for wildcard teams. There’s a certain time period that they can interview and we have, of course, signed off and granted that opportunity.
“And when you have success, there’s going to be opportunities for guys on your staff to get head coaching jobs. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Mike’s sole focus for this week is on the New York Giants.”
Mularkey went from being offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2001-2003 to being the head coach in Buffalo in 2004 and 2005, amassing a 14-18 record. He went 9-7 in his first season, as the Bills won nine of their last 12 games.
As offensive coordinator with Pittsburgh in 2001, Mularkey’s unit was one of the most productive in the NFL and the Steelers played in the AFC Championship Game that season.