Mularkey. recently hired as Tennessee’s tight ends coach, said he’s happy to return to the NFL and coaching. He is recharged and ready to work, appreciative of the increased family time he gained by taking the past season off after being the head coach of the Jaguars 2012.
Mularkey, who played “his favorite position” nine seasons in the NFL, won’t be the only Titans coach with experience at that position. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt also played tight end in the league for nine seasons, offensive coordinator Jason Michael coached tight ends for the Chargers the past three seasons and coached the position at the University of Tennessee in 2008 and with the New York Giants in 2007.
Whisenhunt said hiring assistants with so much experience with tight ends wasn’t deliberate.
Mularkey and Michael both said they believe the position has increased its importance for offenses.
“I’ve always thought, being a former player, that it’s a pretty critical position because of the role that you play in the run game and the passing game,” Mularkey said. “I think a lot of people have always, even when I played or was a tight ends coach, you were kind of tugged between the o-line and wide receivers and weren’t given much priority. It’s changed, especially with these great tight ends that have been out and me being with Tony Gonzalez the last time I was really with one of the great ones (as Falcons offensive coordinator). It’s important that somebody at that position knows what they’re doing and can prepare these guys in the right way.”
Michael said the position is so important because it affects run blocking and pass protection, as well as offering a passing target.
Coaches have been watching game film as a group and as individuals to evaluate players but won't be able to meet or work on the field with players until April.
“I’m excited. I feel like our offense is going to be inside out now,” Walker said. “They’ll probably look to get me the ball more and use my talent. I’ve got the speed that I can run vertical and when I get the ball in my hands I can make plays, so I’m excited to see what they bring to the table.”