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 »This Week in History
Tennessee Titans
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  The Tennessee Titans removed the interim tag from Mike Mularkey on Saturday and named him the team's 18th head coach in franchise history.

Mularkey guided Tennessee to a 2-7 record over the final nine games after Tennessee fired Ken Whisenhunt.

Mularkey, 54, has an 18-39 record in three-plus seasons as an NFL head coach. He went 14-18 with the Buffalo Bills in 2004-05 and 2-14 with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012.

The Titans were 3-13 overall in 2015 and have missed the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons.

Mularkey is looking for improved results now that he's been given the permanent gig.

"I will give all that I have to make this team successful and our city and fans proud," Mularkey said in a statement. "The last two months of the season were extremely valuable in order to understand our personnel and instill some of our values and standard of play, so we won't be starting from scratch.

"With that as a basis, we will now be installing some new systems and bringing in new coaches and players to build on what we have started. There is plenty of work to be done until we reach our goal, but we will all work tirelessly to get us there."

Tennessee features young quarterback Marcus Mariota, and retaining Mularkey keeps the offensive system in place. Mariota passed for 2,818 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a rookie.

The Titans also were impressed with the way Mularkey handled his situation while being in limbo.

"The vision Mike presented for our football team during this search as well as the character, integrity, and leadership skills he displayed during the last two months of the season makes him the right coach for the Tennessee Titans," Amy Adams Strunk, controlling owner and co-chairman of the board of directors of the Titans, said in a statement.

"Mike is a quality coach and an outstanding person who will help us build this team the right way. He has experience as a head coach and a track record for developing young quarterbacks and dynamic offenses, and he also brings continuity for our franchise quarterback. We understand this may take time as we rebuild the roster and bring in new coaches for Mike's staff, but we believe he has the experience and expertise to build a consistent winner."

Mularkey has 21 years of NFL coaching experience. He also was an NFL tight end during a playing career that lasted nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mularkey quickly named Terry Robiskie offensive coordinator.

Robiskie, 61, had served as wide receivers coach of the Atlanta Falcons the past eight seasons. He has not held the title of offensive coordinator since 2004 with the Cleveland Browns, when he also was interim head coach by the end of the season, replacing Butch Davis.

Mularkey said in his season-ending press conference that a top priority in the offseason is fixing the offensive line and building a solid wall of protection for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who battled injuries but was largely effective as a rookie in 2015.

Jon Robinson agreed to terms of a contract to become general manager of Titans.

Robinson was director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will become immediately involved in the Titans' search for a head coach. That includes interim head coach Mike Mularkey, who reportedly has been given strong enough indications that the "job is his," per NFL Network, that he is sharing it with his coaching staff.

However, the Titans confirmed there are other candidates for the job. Known options for the Titans include Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Jaguars assistant head coach Doug Marrone.

ESPN reported Robinson was hired in part because he agreed to give Mularkey a serious look as head coach. Mularkey was elevated from offensive coordinator when Ken Whisenhunt was fired as head coach Nov. 3. Mularkey was 2-7 as interim coach.

"We are thrilled that Jon has agreed in principle to become our general manager," Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. "As we visited with Jon and researched his career, his proven track record for scouting talent, leadership skills, and ability to build relationships make him an ideal candidate to lead our football operation. Jon is a proud Tennessean who is excited to be coming home, and we look forward to the future of our football team under his leadership."

Robinson is from Union City, Tenn., and spent 12 seasons with the New England Patriots. That could fuel speculation that the Titans will wait to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels if Mularkey doesn't earn the nod.

Former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, fired Dec. 29 after posting a 26-21 record in three seasons, will not be in the mix. He was named head coach of the 49ers on Thursday.

Kelly did have ties to Robinson. He requested an interview with Robinson last season but the Buccaneers denied the query on the grounds that his role in Philadelphia would not be a true promotion. Kelly coached Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota at Oregon.

Ruston Webster was general manager of the Titans the past four seasons when Tennessee had a record of 18-46. His contract was not renewed at the end of the season.

The Titans hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft after selecting Mariota second overall in 2015.


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