Mike Mularkey Speaks To JagNation

The Jaguars head coach addresses the frustration of not being able to talk to his quarterback, the play of Jeremy Mincey, his hiring being under the radar and much more.

Under the radar)

That's fine. I'm an under the radar kind of guy. I don't look for any kind of spotlight by any means. That's Gene Smith, that's our owner; I know Shad has gone out there and is trying to get people involved with the community and trying to make this a bigger name outside of Jacksonville. I don't think it's about looking at him, he's trying to make the point- "look at us as an organization."

On Mincey)

Jeremy is just a real good football player. When we played him we felt like he was one of the guys that we had to be aware of based on the fact he's an every down guy and a factor on every down. Good with the run and the pass. A really good football player that we'd like to get back if it works out.

On Mincey's snaps)

If you don't the problems that you force a guy to take that many snaps, maybe his production could have even gone up. He was good enough to play that many snaps but unfortunately he was forced into that role.

On familiarity with roster prior to the job)

I really did not do an in-depth study. The Monday after the Giants playoff game I spent a good amount of time on the players and getting to know the roster in case that conversation came up so I had a good feel of them prior to coming in there. I knew what was there and I know how good of a locker room it is. A bunch of good people in the locker room and that makes a difference to me and the organization. So it was intriguing to me to know all of that.

On involvement with the community)

We've had a number of things going on and a number of things in-house. We've reached out with some golf tournaments, nothing specific and coaches are going to play a role in that. Talked about doing some things with the military bases. We're going to have a coaches clinic for high school coaches just to try to get as many people to know who we are and get involved with the organization.

On the offensive line)

The production will speak for itself. Obviously when you finished as high as you are and you have a leading rusher and you run for that many yards your passing offense is not going to be in the top either. I think it's a very good line and I think it's got good depth. There's some things we're going to do schematically that was different than the prior offense and we want to have a balance amongst everything we do.

On Eben Britton)

He's one guy that's in there every day. He's a really probably gone overboard trying to rehab. It's been impressive. I'm sure he'll be ready to go when it's time to get started up. I really am going to wait until the middle of March before I try to find out what their status is. We have a rough idea and we'll give them more time to rehab and more time to rest.

On Tyson's surgery)

It wasn't serious and it should solve things.

On competing for a division title)

I don't see why not. Let's just get a healthy group, a healthy team and see if we can compete with everybody in this division and I foresee that happening. I'd like to see it with a full strength team and another offseason for our quarterback and getting us going offensively in there.

How important is balance?)

I think you should be able to play off each other. I think that's what's unique about last year is how well the defense was able to play with not a lot of balance. You shouldn't have an offense ranked last and a defense ranked sixth. It's kind of unheard of as you usually play off each other with time of possession and turnovers and all of the above and you've got to compliment each other in some fashion. That was really impressive for the defense to do what they did and we'll see what they can do with some more help offensively.

Are there parallels to the Atlanta situation when it started?)

The similarities are there. When we went to Atlanta the situation was more fragile as to what took place with the head coach leaving and the quarterback situation with Michael Vick. There were a lot of things for that team to be in a more fragile state than this one. I give Mel Tucker credit, when the season was over with these guys were still playing hard and still had a great mind and the locker room is still very good. I think the locker rooms may be a little different. One thing that was hard up there is that we had to gain their trust before we could really teach them a play. They have to learn how to believe in us and trust us before they start believing in what we're teaching them. I don't think that's the case here. They're hungry to take it all in and hopefully put us in the right direction.

On contact with Blaine)

I really haven't had a chance to sit with Blaine like I'd like to. I'd really like to have lunch with him but I can't have lunch with him because somebody will get the wrong impression that we're talking football and we're not going to go above the line on the rules.

On the new offseason contact rules)

What's frustrating is that they can throw and they can do all those things but they can't do it on our site and we can't be with them. At this time of year it's really not imperative that we be with them. Forever that's the way it's been. The frustrating part is that you can't tell them what to do when they're off-site. I think the players probably feel the same way. They want to do what they're doing elsewhere just on our site. We won't be on the field instructing we just would like them to do what they're doing there in a safer environment, in an environment that we have trainers and they know the field doesn't have holes or things like that. That's the frustrating part, you can't even run sprints together. You can't go out there and run together it has to be at some other off-site facility.

It's tough to not be able to talk football when guys want to talk football.


What convinced you that the defense was headed in the right direction?)

Obviously playing against them. Knowing how stout they were, that was important. I know Mel and what Mel is capable of and I know a lot of those guys. I've had a chance to watch them two years in a row when we scrimmaged against them in training camp at our place and their place. I've got a chance to watch some of the coaches and I knew it was a good staff and I wanted to keep it.

On indoor practice facility)

That has not come up. Obviously we'd like something like that and we have some adjustments for the weather.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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