Just over a week into a coaching search that has not yet materialized, it still appears that Mike Mularkey is the frontrunner to be named the Tennessee Titans permanent coach.
Mularkey guided the Titans to a 2-7 record as interim coach after Ken Whisenhunt was fired in early November. But according to what multiple league sources have told TitanInsider.com, there is a belief around the NFL that the Titans’ preference is to remove the interim tag from Mularkey and name him head coach. TitanInsider reported a week ago that the Titans could hire Mularkey and pair him with a young personnel man as general manager, and that still appears to be a realistic possibility.
If the Titans choose to keep Mularkey, making such a move would allow the club to retain Dick LeBeau and Ray Horton as part of the move. Also, even though Mularkey would install his offensive system, it still could make for a smoother transition for quarterback Marcus Mariota, rather than sending him back to square one with a completely new system.
As yet, the Titans have not interviewed any outside candidates for the coaching position, while interviewing six different outside candidates for their vacant general manager position.
However, per a source, the Titans are expected to interview former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who opted out of his contract with the Bills after the 2014 season and wound up as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line coach last season. Marrone’s interview with the Titans is scheduled take place later this week, per a source familiar with the situation. According to reports, the New York Giants have interviewed Marrone, and the Philadelphia Eagles have also scheduled an interview with him.
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Also, the Titans would still have to interview at least one additional candidate to satisfy the Rooney rule that requires each club to interview at least one minority candidate for an open head coaching or general manager vacancy.
As of Monday, the Titans had not reached out to Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who is free to interview with teams following the Bengals’ elimination from the postseason Saturday night.