The Jacksonville Jaguars and new general manager Dave Caldwell have decided to part ways with head coach Mike Mularkey following the worst season in franchise history.
Mularkey, who was hired last January by former Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, went 2-14 in his only season with the team. The move does not come as a surprise as there have been strong indications over the past week that Caldwell would want to bring in his own head coach and have the Jaguars start fresh in 2013 under his leadership.
Late in the season there were reports that Mularkey had lost the Jaguars locker room and that players were upset with the overly physical nature of his practices. Some players even went as far as to blame Mularkey’s practices for the amount of injuries the team suffered this season.
Mularkey has now had two head coaching jobs terminated due to front office changes in his NFL career, but he knew when he accepted the job last offseason that his fate would likely be tied to Smith and his hand-picked quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Smith was a holdover from the previous regime of former owner Wayne Weaver and was fighting an uphill battle to impress new owner Shahid Khan.
The Jaguars were a sinking ship under Smith’s leadership and Mularkey was the final causality of one of the worst stretches in franchise history.
Now with Mularkey gone, Caldwell has a chance to build the Jaguars in his vision with a totally clean slate. Caldwell, who will be introduced to the Jaguars fans in a press conference this afternoon, will now begin his search for the fourth head coach in franchise history.
Most feel that the top candidate for the Jaguars job is San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was Caldwell’s teammate in college. Roman will not be able to interview until the 49ers are eliminated from the postseason, but the Jaguars will certainly interview several other candidates before the process is over with.
The Jaguars have cleaned house and now have a chance to start fresh in 2013.