The Jacksonville Jaguars have requested permission from the Atlanta Falcons to interview offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for their head coaching vacancy, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.
A former NFL tight end, Mularkey is in his 18th season as an NFL coach, including two seasons (2004-05) spent as the Buffalo Bills head coach. Mularkey's Bills went 14-18 and he was fired following the 2005 season.
The 50-year-old Mularkey has coordinated offenses with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2001-03), Miami Dolphins (2006) and Atlanta Falcons, where he's been since the 2008 season. Atlanta has ranked 6th (2008), 16th (2009, 2010) and 10th (2011) in total offense the last four seasons, a category the Jaguars ranked 32nd in 2011.
With the team investing its 2011 first-round pick in quarterback Blaine Gabbert, an offensive-minded head coach would make some sense for the Jaguars, who fired longtime head coach Jack Del Rio in late November. Mularkey has played a pivotal role in the development of Matt Ryan into a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback.
Atlanta plays the New York Giants in the Wild Card Playoffs this Sunday, so it's unclear if the Falcons would grant permission for a key figure such as Mularkey to take time out from preparations to interview for a head coach position job this week.