The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 10, 2013

Jaguars fire Mularkey after team's worst season

— JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The more Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan watched his team play, the more he realized one thing:

"We needed a rebuild from the ground up," Khan said.

So the Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey on Thursday after just one season, the worst in franchise history. The move came 10 days after Khan fired general manager Gene Smith.

Khan also introduced new GM David Caldwell on Thursday, and by parting ways with Mularkey, gave him a clean slate heading into 2013.

"I bring a track record of success," Caldwell said. "I've never endured a sustainable losing team."

But maybe the biggest nugget came when Caldwell said New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is not in the team's plans.

"I can't imagine a scenario where he will be a Jacksonville Jaguar." Caldwell said.

Mularkey, who went 2-14 this season, became the eighth head coach fired since the end of the regular season. He looked like he would be one and done when owner Shad Khan parted ways with general manager Gene Smith last week and gave Mularkey's assistants permission to seek other jobs. Even though Khan ultimately hired Mularkey, Smith directed the coaching search last January that started and ended with the former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator.

"Mike Mularkey is leaving our organization with my utmost respect," Khan said. "Mike gave the Jaguars everything he had on and off the field, and his efforts as our head coach will always be appreciated."

Mularkey's brief tenure — he didn't even last a year — was filled with mistakes. His biggest one may have been his loyalty to Smith, who assembled a roster that lacked talent on both sides of the ball.

Mularkey probably stuck with Smith's franchise quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, longer than he should have. And the coach's insistence that the team was closer than outsiders thought and his strong stance that he had the roster to turn things around became comical as the losses mounted. The Jaguars lost eight games by at least 16 points, a staggering number of lopsided losses in a parity-filled league.

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