Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey has just recently been awarded the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job, and judging by my Twitter feed most of you aren't taking it too hard. I'm pleased with his decision. Heck, the Falcons players are probably pretty happy as well.
Though Mularkey has been bashed left and right over the past two seasons, myself included, let's get one thing straight: he's great if you want a simple, running-centric offense to help ease your rookie quarterback's growing pains.
The only problem is that the Falcons offense is a long way from 2008. Michael Turner doesn't have those fresh legs anymore, Matt Ryan has matured into an intelligent, more than capable quarterback, and (oh yeah) the offense is literally littered with offensive weapons. Mularkey no longer fit the bill, and a change was absolutely necessary.
But as far as the next coach to inherit Mularkey's position as Falcons offensive coordinator is concerned? He'll be a lucky man indeed. It's not everyday you get to run an offense with Matty Ice, a plethora of talented skill players and an average (at worst) offensive line.
There are more than a few names that could be thrown about in the coming weeks, but one name sticks out like a sore thumb among the others: former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson.
Some might say Jackson got a raw deal in Oakland. Only head coach for one year, he led the Raiders to an 8-8 record and narrowly missed out on securing the team's first playoff berth since 2002.
Jackson established a great ground game in Oakland with the likes of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush on board. But Jackson also managed to find success in the vertical passing game with the likes of Darius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore (despite having two mediocre quarterbacks).
And let's not forget: this isn't a one-year story of success. Jackson was also the wide receivers coach for the Bengals during the hey-days of Chad Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. If you'll also recall, he was Atlanta's offensive coordinator not that long ago.
Despite inheriting a Mike Vick-less offense in 2007, he still managed to get a very production 1000+ yards-receiving season out of Roddy White, who at that point was on the verge of "bust" status. Talent-wise that team was pretty bad, but Jackson still made do with what he was given.
Hopefully, Thomas Dimitroff can convince the offensive guru to once again coach in Atlanta. With Jackson at the helm, this Falcons offense could finally fulfill its championship-caliber potential.
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