Titans fire coach Mike Mularkey after all

On Sunday, Mike Mularkey’s job with the Tennessee Titans looked safe. He got a vote of confidence after a playoff win against the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. There were reports he and the Titans were discussing an extension.

Early Monday morning, Mularkey was out.

Whatever happened to go from extension negotiations to the Titans needing a new head coach will be unpacked in the upcoming days. In announcing the move, Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement the team did discuss an extension “but in those discussions about the direction of the team, it became evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success.” No matter what happened behind the scenes, Tennessee needs a new head coach. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Although Mularkey got the Titans to the playoffs and pulled off a great comeback against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round, the Titans struggled most of the season. Their offense looked stagnant. The staff refused to play Derrick Henry over struggling DeMarco Murray. Quarterback Marcus Mariota took a big step back. It didn’t seem anymore like the Titans were on the rise, playoff win or not.

Although New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been linked to the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job this month, he’ll be a hot topic in Nashville now. Titans general manager Jon Robinson has Patriots ties. McDaniels would be a great hire for a Titans team that has some offensive talent, and could use some better coaching.

For a while it looked like Mularkey would be out, then it seemed he saved his job with a win over the Chiefs. It’s very rare for a coach to get fired right after winning a playoff game. Mularkey ended up losing his job anyway, and depending on who the Titans hire to replace him, that might end up being a good move by the team.

Mike Mularkey and the Titans decided to part ways. (AP)
Mike Mularkey and the Titans decided to part ways. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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