Mike Mularkey On Bucs’ Radar

January 4th, 2012

If, as Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has been known to say, the Bucs are all about “No. 5,” then it would stand to reason the Bucs want to hire an offensive-minded head coach to replace jettisoned Raheem Morris.

So, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Dixie Chicks offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is on the Bucs’ short list of candidates to replace Morris.

Mularkey is an interesting study. He was a former get-back coach for Sam Wyche with the Bucs, eventually rising to the status of tight ends coach.

With Pittsburgh roughly 10 years ago, he rose from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator and somehow transformed Tommy Maddox of all people into a playoff quarterback.

In Mularkey’s last season in Pittsburgh, he somehow wrung 3,414 yards of passing out of Maddox’s right arm. Mularkey was also key in developing receivers Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El.

With the Dixie Chicks, Matt Ryan largely credits Mularkey with his development.

If the Bucs are looking for an imaginative, entertaining offensive coordinator who has a knack for making young players productive, if not Pro Bowl players, the Bucs could do worse than Mularkey, despite the mixed bag of results he had in a two-year stint as Bills head coach.

61 Responses to “Mike Mularkey On Bucs’ Radar”

  1. Brown Paper Bag Removed Says:

    Before you all go ape-sh!t about this candidate, everyone should be on Bucs radar. Glad they are not promoting the local garbage man just to fill the HC seat.

    With that said, we also learned lessons recently:
    Don’t invest with a man named Madoff
    Don’t hire an accountant named Skimmer
    Don’t believe anything from someone named Mularky.

    Just sayin’

  2. Jrock Says:

    He’s got my stamp of approval for O.C.

    So is our new strategy to win our division by slowly acquiring other teams assets? Steal Atlanta’s punter and OC, let’s swipe Steve Smith from the Panthers and Jimmy Graham from the Saints when he becomes available. Sweet strategy

  3. justin Says:

    the bucs team is already full of mularkey

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    Maybe he’s learned from the Bills. Sometimes, when you go from OC\DC to HC, you spread yourself too thin and lose that extra focus you once had.
    It would stand to reason the Bucs are targeting offensive minded candidates, a correct move in my book. The Titans DC is nothing more than rule compliance.
    I would imagine if Sherman and Mularky are on the list, so too might be Billick. Just guessing.

  5. Meh Says:

    Jerry ‘only for rule compliance’ Gray has a better resume than Mularkey. In the one winning year Mularkey had with Buffalo it was because Jerry Gray turned the defense into an elite unit, not anything Mularkey did.

    There are much, much better coordinators out there than this guy.

  6. Marques Says:

    Mike Mularkey is an asisstant. Nothing more. He quit the Bills. We have enough quitters on this team already.

    The list should start with the Kiffens. Father and son. Monte and Lane.

    They have all the ingredients that you need. Youth and experience. Just look at what they did at USC in such a short time.

    Lane was right to leave the Raiders. Monte would come back.

    It really makes a lot of sense.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    How excited were Atlanta fans when they hired Mike Smith? Not very. He had been successful in Jacksonville, but because he wasn’t a “big name”, many fans were not happy. I’d say its safe to say they were wrong. It’s great to have an opinion, but please don’t be so full of yourself that you think you know best. If you truly are that qualified and you currently make less than an NFL GM, I would suggest that you have wasted your career.

  8. Brown Paper Bag Removed Says:


    Bucs need to interview everyone. They need any likely candidate to realize we have multiple options. When they secretly went after Parcels, he knew he had the Bucs by the balls. He stiffed us at teh last minute, after we fired Dungy.

    It appears the Glazers have learned that lesson.

  9. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    So Mulatkey quit? What exactly did Lane Kiffin do at Tennessee? Hell, Monte basically quit too, on us.

  10. Meh Says:

    Monte Kiffen is older than dirt. He isn’t coming back. And Lane Kiffen is a terrible, terrible coach and a worse person. I hope he never comes here.

  11. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    What they did at USC? Not sure if you know this, but USC is one of the premier programs in the country. Are you saying they’ve improved since Carroll left? I am shaking my head at that statement.

  12. Meh Says:

    Being a Gator fan I do appreciate how badly Lane screwed over Tennessee. Credit where it’s due!

  13. McBuc Says:

    If you are judging Mularkey on quiting or his NFL head coach career, then why would you want Lane Kiffin anywhere near this team. USC is always succesful, not because of Lane. He left the Vols high and dry. Plus, why would he want to leave, he is a much better college coach than an NFL coach.

    Mularky sounds good to me, by like HB said above, I am simply a fan. I do not think NO was thrilled to hear Peyton was coming to town either, but I bet they are happy he did. I like this guy, he is a winner. One losing season in Buffalo, and by most counts he was forced to resign, and you guys want him out. What about the ten years Fisher did not make the play offs? I hope they give Rich B a look as well. Oh, and Grey is an up and comer, you guys are fools that think he is simply a Rooney rule condidate. The Glazers have never had an issue with interviewing coaches that are black anyway.

  14. Snook Says:

    This is my choice for our next HC.

    But I have a feeling he’ll end up in Jax.

  15. Meh Says:

    Chudzinksi, Zimmer, and Gray are all better candidates than Mularkey if you want an assistant with a track record of success.

  16. Dave Says:

    I don’t know, maybe he gets better the second time around…. of course he had craaap in buffalo to work with so who knows.

    BUT, he seesm like an OC lifer to me.
    Kind of like Monte as a DC lifer.

    Some guys are better in those spots. (See Mike Martz HC vs Mike Martz OC)

    Personally, I am just glad to see a variety of names coming out so soon that they plan to interview. They should interview ALOT and all with 2 weeks.
    Then start narrowing it down.

    I know they do not want an artifical deadline, and I agree, but the bottom line is you want the HC and coaching staff to get in here AS SSON AS POSSIBLE to focus on the players here, the upcoming draft, the OTAs, and dare I say free agents

  17. bucfanjeff Says:

    I think their are too many similarities between Raheem and Gray for him to be a serious candidate. That doesn’t mean he isn’t up and coming or will or will not be good. I’m speculating from the Glazers perspective, once bitten twice shy. I think it will be a serious interview, but I think they already kind of know they won’t go that direction.
    What I DO hope is they have a coach and staff in place VERY soon. It gives them time to pour over tape and draft accordingly.

  18. Sgt Mike Says:

    No matter who we get they must be part of a greater Ying and Yang. Like Gruden/Kiffin, Vermeil/Martz, Smith/Philbin etc. etc. . If we go with an excellent up and coming Coordinator it is equally as important to get his Offensive or Defensive counterpart right.

  19. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Regardless of who they hire, I have to think they would have the guy in place by the week of 16 Jan 12. This is the week before senior bowl (28 Jan 12) practices start.

  20. Dave Says:


    “The Glazers have never had an issue with interviewing coaches that are black anyway.”

    Never said they didn’t. I am basically saying the Rooney Rule is outdated because I don not honestly believe there is an owner out there who would hire or not hire someone based on their skin color.

    I think that rule, like any law like it, or any imposed quota, is in itself inherently racist. I understand they were neccessary for a time and they did good for a time, but the time is over and I would like to think that we could get by without those types of rules and quotas that end up forcing division among people.

    Best man for the job, it should be that simple and I think we have a reached a point in the NFL where that is all that is needed.

  21. Dave Says:

    As far as Jerry Grey:

    I agree, a very good upcoming coach. Great succes with the Bills and Titans defenses and the Texas Longhorns defense.

    I am not sure he is anything more than the Rooney Rule though.

    From his track record, whaty he has done with bad teams, I would have no problem with him as DC or HC…. just not both and get someone like Martz or Mularky as OC.

  22. Meh Says:

    The only thing Morris and Gray have in common is their skin color.

    If you want to know why the Rooney rule is still needed just look at some of the comments here and other bucs blogs regarding Jerry Gray. And the Rooney rule isn’t even a quota, it says INTERVIEW a single minority. Not hire them. Just interview one. It isn’t that damn hard. It isn’t that much of a burden. It might be unnecessary, but that’s a good thing if we get to that point. I don’t believe for a second we are at that point yet.

    We are only 50 years removed from the Redskins not allowing Blacks to PLAY for them, much less coach.

  23. Patrick Says:


    Joe Philbin as HC, Tom Clements as OC. They both know each other VERY well from Green Bay.

  24. Mikenice Says:

    Monte Kiffin put the best defense the Buccaneers have ever had on the field. And we won a Super Bowl. But he is too old now. Unfortunately or else I would gladly take him back.

  25. McBuc Says:

    Dave, I was not refering to what you said about the rule being outdated, I agree to an extent. I was more questioning people that think Grey is only being interviewed becasue of the rule. Everything else you said above I agree with too. I do not think the Glazers are worried about the Rooney rule, because they will probably interview several people that will cover them anyway.

  26. raphael Says:

    Mularkey would be a great HC. he turned the bills around and when they wanted to bring in Marv Levy as a consultant he said no thanks. The guy is a winner imo

  27. McBuc Says:

    Meh, we are even less removed from the first black coach, so you have a valid point.

  28. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I was told and posted that the new Tampa Head Coach was already decided upon in a handshake deal, before they let Raheem go.
    It was also told to me that Raheem would be let go as soon as the season ended, and Mark Dominik would lose the final say over talent acquisition. Both of these “prophesy’s ” have come to pass, just as I was told they would.
    Now, Mike Sherman just so “happens” to have the SAME Agent as Mark Dominik does. Plus, Mike Sherman is an excellent talent evaluator, and served as Green Bay GM.
    He drafted several pro bowl players, while serving as Green Bay GM.

    Now, Tampa has interviewed Jeff Fisher, and said they were not real impressed, setting the stage for the “selection” of Mike Sherman as our new head coach.
    I was not told who the new Tampa Head Coach would be, because my source didn’t know.
    But Mike Sherman sure seems to “fit” the conspiracy theory.
    Especially since he and Mike Sherman share the same agent, who already has a relationship with the Glazers!

  29. Meh Says:

    Art Shell in 1989 was the first black coach of the modern era. Just a hair over 20 years ago. That is so recent in historical terms. The Rooney rule has only been in place since 2003. We are hardly far removed from the days it was needed.

    And, again, it only requires you to INTERVIEW a minority. It isn’t forcing anyone, anywhere to hire a poor choice.

  30. I_Miss#40 Says:

    Separated at birth
    Mike Mularkey and Kevin Costner?

  31. Dave Says:

    Just my opinion on the Rooney Rule. I do not like any rule or regulation that imposes on people to do something that is not neccessary.

    I do not think I am naive at all but I just do not see the need for the Rooney Rule.

    The main people making a big deal out of race 99% is the media and government. In everyday society, it rarely exists anymore.

    When a black person with dreadlocks says he were discriminated against when pulled over at 3 am, I think the white redneck looking guy gets pulled over for that just as much.
    I do not think the cops are being “racists there so much as just profiling the people most likely to be causing trouble. (the redneck or the dreadlocked guy)
    It might be somewhat wrong, but it will ALWAYS exist and I think 97% of us do not care one bit about a persons skin color when it comes to a coach.

    I also do not think any owners out there care one bit.

    The media cares greatly however because it sells stories

  32. Dave Says:

    For those saying Grey is the same as Morris…. check the track record. Grey has ALOT more experience as a DC and more success.

  33. Meh Says:

    Apple, they have not interviewed Fisher. We’ve heard so far that Fisher is Dom’s top choice, the Glazers don’t like him much, and they want to schedule an interview but it has to fit around his schedule. In any case, it seems like Fisher isn’t coming.

    And Apple I was really hoping your rumor was true, but I’m really disappointed that Mike Sherman seems to be the selection. I’ll support whoever they pick, but I don’t think he’s the best choice.

  34. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    How in the world is the Rooney Rule racist? Check the dictionary for what racist means. We’ve got some genius comments coming in today.

  35. Patrick Says:


  36. Meh Says:

    Dave, the comments on here about Jerry Gray completely disprove your claim that it is not an issue anymore. Race is absolutely still a huge problem in society, including the NFL.

    And if you want to talk about police stops and arrests you don’t have a leg to stand on. Blacks and hispanics are disproportionally stopped and arrested. I mean it isn’t even in a debatable a gray area.

    This also goes way beyond outright blatant racism. Soft bias is a huge problem.

  37. ty Says:

    what about brian billick he has won a superbowl and has a record of 85-67 yet

    jeff fisher is more sought after just want to get thoughts on billick

  38. eric Says:

    My concern about Mularkey is that Raheem Morris was able to shut down his offense more than once. During periods where other teams were lighting us up like a Christmas tree.

    In 09 they had to score on last play of the game. In 2010 Bucs had ten point lead. This year they beat them and Atlanta only got 30 yards on the ground I think.

    To me Atlanta plays average offense, not really top notch though. Very inconsistent. And he has a lot of material to work with in Atlanta.

    Maybe the guy is good, but looks a bit iffy to me.

  39. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m biased against Billick simply because I can’t stand him on TV. His brain appears to be “as simple as a screwdriver”. That being said, he’s probably not a bad choice at all.

  40. Joe Says:


    My concern about Mularkey is that Raheem Morris was able to shut down his offense more than once.

    You mean like that one time that the Dixie Chicks racked up 42 points in 22 minutes? 🙂

  41. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Meh, this is what I read in case you haven’t.

    There has already been some news seeping out of One Buc Palace about what the Bucs think of one of the candidates to become the franchise’s ninth head coach.

    When Raheem Morris was told, in so many words, to go to the Outback Bowl and not come back Monday, quite a few Bucs fans jumped up and down as if they were on trampolines in the excitement of former Titans coach Jeff Fisher potentially coming to Tampa Bay.

    Hold up, says eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune. Kaufman has his ear to the ground at One Buc Palace and believes the powers that be who work there are collectively shrugging their shoulders over Fisher, so he told “The Fabulous Sports Babe” yesterday, heard on WHBO-AM 1040.

    “My information — and you are not going to like it — my information is this organization right here is not overwhelmed with Jeff Fisher. That’s my information.”

    Kaufman had loads of other information about the Bucs’ putrid season, the coaching search (Mike Sherman is leading candidate thus far) and jettisoned coach Raheem Morris (“He did know he was going to be fired.”)

  42. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    See Meh, Raheem DID know he was going to be fired, even before he was fired, and so did I, LOL
    Well, that’s what I was TOLD anyway, so I posted it.
    I really WISH I could say who told me what he told me, but I must respect my customers privacy.

  43. Meh Says:

    Yes, I saw all that Apple. I’ll be disappointed with Sherman compared to others, but I’ll be on board and hoping he can turn this team around.

  44. eric Says:


    Oh I remember that Joe. Who could forget. But i think the Bucs were in such a state that King High might have done it too.

    Wouldnt you agree in the other matchups the Atlanta offense has looked pretty average?

  45. eric Says:

    Heres what one Alumni had to say about Mr. Sherman:

    65-10. Another embarrassment. Another showing of ineptitude. And, suddenly, the sunshine pumpers are awfully quiet. Cat got your tongue? The 22nd game in the infamous era of Mike Sherman sure looked familiar, didn’t it? Here’s some breaking news, Aggie fans. Under Sherman, Texas A&M’s football program has become THE embarrassment of the Big 12. This delegation doesn’t come merely from wins and losses. It comes from the simple fact that this and last year’s teams do not compete. Seriously, what teams in the Big 12 or, better yet, the entire Football Bowl Subdivision get blown out more often than the Aggies? In Sherman’s almost two years at the helm, the Aggies have lost 12 out of 16 games to teams from BCS conferences. In those 12 losses, the margin of defeat is nearly 27 points.

    This is even well before he was fired. Sound familiar?

    And Dom wants to bring this guy in for an interview?

  46. Patrick Says:

    Guys, Sherman is NOT a bad coach.

    He’s not really what I would like exactly, but he’s ok. He had a successful run in Green Bay. Just cause he had Brett Favre doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get any credit for the winning up there. I guess we shouldn’t give Mike Holmgren credit either.

    I still hope they interview SEVERAL more candidates.

  47. Patrick Says:

    And quit mentioning the unsuccessful run at A&M. College football…..different from the NFL guys. A lot of good coaches don’t transition well between the NCAA and NFL.

    Texas A&M actually had a great offense this year. They scored 40-50 points constantly in many of their games. Most of their losses were very close. The thing that killed the Aggies was their defense.

  48. eric Says:

    Who has had that kinda crap record in college and then killed it in the pros?

    And having Favre isnt a factor? Look at the COlts coach without Manning! Favre is gonna win for you during that period no matter who was the coach.

    How about Jimmy Johnson, and Harbough for the niners. Usually its the other way around, college guys cant do well in the pros. Like Nick Saban and Petrino.

    I have looked and I havent located a living soul in the State of Texas who wasnt happy to get rid of the guy.

    This is the best we can do?

    I sure hope not. Dang disgrace their even talking to the guy IMO.

  49. SensibleBuc Says:

    The more I look into Mike Sherman the more disenchanted I’m with him…

    1) He let Brett Favre run all over him and underachieved with a talented Packers squad.

    2) It seems as though he brings some of the same warts we just fired Raheem for:

    “Had the Aggies simply not had the talent to compete this season, that would have been one thing. Had they simply failed to live up to preseason expectations, well, it wouldn’t be the first time that A&M has been overrated to start a college football season. But the way the team lost games this year was excruciating. One second-half collapse after another after another after another after another. No halftime adjustments were being made—no effective halftime adjustments, anyway—and opponents had their way with the Aggies during the final 30 minutes (or more) of games.”

    “I don’t see how that could have been anything but a result of bad coaching, whether it was not making the right (or any) in-game adjustments, not keeping the players motivated throughout the full 60 minutes, not getting the players physically conditioned to last all four quarters, not teaching the kids how to tackle properly, not knowing what they’re doing, or whatever the problem was.”

    “I have no idea what Sherman was like in the locker room or on the practice field, but on game days, he gave the appearance that he was completely lost. When things start unraveling during a game, the team looks to its head coach for guidance, for motivation, for fire and passion, and for the will to survive. When that head coach just stands there, looking bewildered that yet another second-half collapse is upon us, that doesn’t convey the right message to Aggie players, fans, or boosters.”


  50. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Everyone that thought Raheem Morris played favorites, I read a story where Farve had his own office in the locker room and didn’t have to park in the players parking lot, he parked next to Sherman instead. Ted Thompson finally realized that Aaron Rodgers was the way to go and Sherman and Farve were shown the door.

    Mike Sherman is the last candidate I want the Bucs to hire. If they bring this guy in though, which coordinators does he have a history with? I’m trying to be serious and not negative or judgemental. Just not in the mood to do any Sherman research unless it becomes evident he is our next coach.

  51. Dave Says:


    The comments on here don’t dissprove anything. First of all, there are hardly any comments at all that appear racist in nature. Some just simply do not know him as a coach.
    They are just idiot fans and there will always be those and some will always be racist.
    I am saying the owers do not need this rule. It does nothing but placate the media to me.


    Any rule or law that forces someone or some organization to do something based on the color of a mans skin or nationality or religion is racist in nature.

    They are forcing owners to interview people based on skin color or ethnicity. it is racist.

    EXAMPLE: The Hate Crime law
    Say a person of ANY race beats up a 25 year old man and gets 1 year in jail.
    If that same person does the same thing but the victim is gay and they used a gay slur during the said beating they could get more time in jail.

    That is racist based on the sexuality of the victim. It is the same premise.

    Laws, regulations, rules, should not, in todays society, be based on any of those factors. If we ever truly want to move pass prejudices we need to eliminate those laws and regs and rules and stop separating everyone according to race, ethnicity, religion, color, nationality, etc…

    We do that, we can get as close to being completely equal as we will ever be. BUT there will always be bigots and racists… ALWAYS… but we have reached a point where we need to stop with the rules that protect the very few and make the very many suffer inequality because of it.

  52. Dave Says:

    Enough on that, sorry for the rant.

    All that said, I like Jerry Grey… more as a DC, but we don’t as a HC unless he is given a chance

  53. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Oh my gosh, you couldn’t be any more wrong on your definition of racist if you tried. It’s laughable, but it’s really not funny. First of all, your example of sexual orientation being racist is wrong. Racism has to do with race, not sexual orientation. I get what you are “trying” to prove, but you are showing that you clearly have no idea what racism is.

    Since you obviously don’t know what racist is and you would rather spend time arguing it instead of actually looking it up, I will do the work for you. A person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others = racist. So forcing someone to merely interview someone of another race is about as far from “racist” as possible. Spin it however you want, fact is fact.

    To also explain why the Rooney Rule is in effect (because you are obviously not going to look that up either), I will do that for you as well. It was put in place because in the very recent past there have been tons of qualified minority coaches who couldn’t so much as get an interview. There were lesser-qualified, white coaches getting these interview, and thus, the jobs (ever heard of a guy named Tony Dungy? Look him up for a perfect example). If you really want to get technical, this could be considered a racist act by the owners because they are clearly considering white coaches superior to black coaches. However, I think that’s even a bit extreme to call that racist. They applied the Rooney Rule (in 2003) to at least give these coaches an opportunity (real or not) to get head coaching jobs. And what do you know-as soon as the rule was made, minority coaches began getting hired-and they even became successful.

    So you can complain about these “racist” rules all you want, but you are really showing ignorance to the situation, as well as your knowledge of the English language. Sorry to jump you so bad, but you are way off base on this one.

  54. eric Says:


    Your post reveals the reason the rule doesn’t work. As soon as a list of coaches is compiled everyone starts looking at “who is the black guy for the Rooney RUle”.

    Thats drawing attention to the very distinction that should not matter. Its divisive and demeaning to the candidate.

    You are engineering actions based upon race.

    I agree its not “racists” in that it isnt based upon hatred or superiority.

    Its just that in its application it has become somewhat of a sham.

  55. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    My main point was that it is not racist, and to claim that it is completely ridiculous. However, there are times that by the rule not working, it works. When a minority candidate is interviewed by an owner to satisfy the Rooney Rule (as a scam to just satisfy the rule), it gets that minority’s name out there. As a result, other teams can/may interview that candidate for their own jobs, but in a more serious manner. And of course it doesn’t always work, but if you look at the statistics since the rule was created in 2003, it is clear that it is having an effect. How could you even argue that point?

  56. eric Says:


    Remember when it was a big deal when a black guy played QB?

    When Doug was drafted some hateful things were said. Not in the press but i heard them. That racist view was overcome by guys like Doug and James harris, and Warren Moon proving it wrong, Hardly a mention now when a QB is black which is great.

    They didn’t have to come up with a rule to play black guys at QB.

    Dungy did same thing, and Lovie Smith and all the rest. I think that would have come without this rule and the current farse, which can be demeaning, wouldn’t exist.

    But, I surely recognize your point.

    Im for everybody getting a fair shot.

  57. stanglassman Says:

    Muh. Well said about the Rooney rule, I agree with your pts.. Grey looks like a better choice than most.
    Patrick. I like Joe Philbin too, I watch GB offense and they look more innovative and better coached than any team I’ve seen in a long time. My dream ticket would be Philbin HC and Marinelli DC/Asst.HC
    Anyone who thinks Marlarchy would be a good choice needs to look into his history as HC in Buff.. He was way too conservative. Know for punting inside the other team 40 on 4 and 1 and gave away all the close games.

  58. stanglassman Says:

    I was thinking of Greg Williams at the Bills being too conservative, Mularkey had no QB and didn’t get along with mgnt so he quit the team. Better choice than Williams.

  59. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I give anyone a pass for anything they have ever done in Buffalo.

  60. destinedbuc32 Says:

    @Patrick i agree with you wholeheartedly about Philbin as HC and Clements OC

  61. Garv Says:

    It’s early and I’m working a day shift and have to run but HAVE to type, of course………

    The Buccaneers SHOULD consider Mike Mularkey. I think they might be beetter judges than message board posters. I want them to do due diligence and find the best man they can. They should be doing everything they can to find the right man and the right fit for this team. It doesn’t matter if I’ve heard of him or not.
    What WILL matter is if when he steps into the locker room he has the FULL attention and respect of the players from day one and throughout his stay here. They don’t have to like him, WE don’t have to like him but the players have to respect him and go all out for him and themselves.