Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At 2-12, an Uncertain Future; Mularkey Focusing on Final Two Games, Not Status

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At 2-12, an Uncertain Future; Mularkey Focusing on Final Two Games, Not Status

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey knows firsthand that a first-year head coach doesn't always survive if he doesn't win enough.

He was the tight ends coach in Miami under Cam Cameron in 2007, went 1-15 and was fired after one year.

With the Jaguars 2-12 after losing three games in a row to teams with losing records, Mularkey doesn't know if he's going to survive to coach the Jaguars for a second season.

If they lose the last two to New England and Tennessee, it won't be a good omen. Jim Caldwell was fired by Indianapolis and Steve Spagnuolo by St. Louis last year after both went 2-14. The year before, John Fox was fired after a 2-14 season with Carolina, but then hired by Denver.

Mularkey's fate is uncertain because team owner Shad Khan, who also must decide whether to keep general manager Gene Smith, said he will wait until the end of the year to make an evaluation. And Khan hasn't given any indication which way he is leaning.

Mularkey, who quit as the Buffalo head coach after the 2005 season after the general manager who hired him, Tom Donahoe, was fired, doesn't appear to spend much time worrying about his future. He's more focused on the last two games.

"There's a lot of football going on. Like I said to the players, if you do everything the right way and you do it the best you can, you'll be successful and wherever else that will be,'' Mularkey said. "That's the only thing I will go by or anybody else that's going to be in this building is going to go by. We're going to just do the best we can.''

By any standard, his first season hasn't been a success. When asked if he worries about it, Mularkey said he doesn't want to take away from the energy the team needs by worrying about things he can't control.

But Mularkey stressed the wins and losses are important to him.

"I don't know if anybody takes a loss worse than I do or enjoys a win as much as I do,'' he said.

He seemed to let it get the best of him when he fell ill last week and was hospitalized.

"Everybody in the league is fatigued right now,'' Mularkey said. "I just let it go too far. …

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