One week after Titans owner Amy Adams-Strunk released a statement that said Mike Mularkey is our coach 'moving forward,' the two sides have mutually agreed to part ways.
“I want to thank Mike Mularkey for his contributions to our franchise over his tenure with our organization," Adams-Strunk said in a statement to the team website. "He took over our team during a low moment and together with Jon built a solid foundation for our franchise. I appreciated that Mike devoted himself to this team and the community.
In fact, we did discuss extending his future with our team over the past week, but in those discussions about the direction of the team, it became evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success.
It is certainly unfortunate that we couldn’t find enough common ground. I generally believe that continuity is the best path for success, but I also view this as an important moment for our football team as we try to make that next step to sustained success on the field. Jon will begin the search immediately to identify that person.”
Under Mularkey, the Titans completed their second consecutive 9-7 season and earned a wild-card win by overcoming an 18-point deficit to beat the Chiefs. It was after that win that Strunk said she "regrets that outside rumors gained a life of their own" and "no one has been a bigger supporter than I have of Mike Mularkey over the past two plus seasons."
But, as we mentioned at the time, the statement showing support for Mularkey was still vague in terms of the actual level of additional support the team had for its embattled coach. It also didn't mention GM Jon Robinson, who inherited Mularkey upon his arrival two years ago and attempted to make the arranged marriage work.
As we learned throughout divisional round week, though, a minute in the NFL can be an eternity, never mind a week. And after watching another innovative offense, this time Josh McDaniels' Patriots, score 35 points on her club in a noncompetitive loss on Saturday night, Strunk ultimately decided Mularkey wasn't the right coach to maximize Marcus Mariota and Tennessee's talented roster.
The question, then, is whether this audible by the Titans is the result of watching someone — McDaniels? Minnesota's Pat Shurmur? — else last weekend whom they feel can get Mariota back on the right track.
Tennessee becomes the seventh team to change coaches this offseason, joining the Giants, Raiders, Colts, Lions, Bears and Cardinals. Only the Bears have officially filled their opening, though Detroit is reportedly locked in on Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The competition for New England's other coveted coordinator, whom Robinson has a relationship with from their time together in Foxborough, likely just became more intense.