I’m hearing – and have been hearing this for the better part of a month now – that the Ravens would have interest in bringing in Mike Mularkey as the team’s new Offensive Coordinator.
Mularkey is currently the Dolphins’ Tight Ends coach, although he called the plays for Coach Cam Cameron in a couple of late season games this year. He was the Head Coach in Buffalo in 2004 (9-7) and 2005 (5-11) and was the Offensive Coordinator in Pittsburgh from 2000-2003.
I’ve been told the Ravens like several things about Mularkey. His history and niche is in the passing game, for starters, and most league-wide personnel experts will tell you that the new "hot commodity" among coaches and coordinators on the offensive side of the ball are those who are familiar with a throwing game rather than a running game. Mularkey’s knowledge of the AFC and, in particular, the AFC North from his time in Pittsburgh is also appealing to the Ravens. And, although he wasn’t specifically in charge of Kordell Stewart’s stewardship when he was the Steelers’ QB, a lot of Ravens officials liken Stewart’s style to that of rookie QB Troy Smith and feel like Mularkey’s input with Smith could be beneficial given his experience with Stewart in Pittsburgh.
One issue, obviously, could be the relationship that existed between Mularkey and Willis McGahee when Mularkey coached the Bills, although one Buffalo newspaper writer told me today, "McGahee didn’t like anyone when he was here so don’t put a lot of stock in what he thinks about Mike Mularkey."
There is still the very real issue of Mularkey’s current employment in Miami, where he might want to wait and see what transpires over the next few weeks with Bill Parcells in charge. Already today, Parcells has fired the team’s GM and most people think Cam Cameron will get the axe by week’s end. That could mean that Mularkey, too, will be out (and available for hire), or, perhaps, Parcells could see Mularkey as a veteran offensive mind with a proven track record and Parcells clearly has a say in who stays and goes in Miami right now.
Whether or not Mularkey is the Ravens #1 choice for the offensive coordinator position remains to be seen. Mike Martz and/or Scott Linehan could be available and of interest to the Ravens. But I’ve been hearing Mularkey’s name since around Thanksgiving and I think Brian Billick would be particularly interested in a guy with AFC North battle scars.