New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey has finally completed his coaching staff, and he's quite pleased with it. "I think it's going to work here. I really think it's going to work now that I have this staff together,'' Mularkey told Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. "This is an unbelievable bunch of people I hired. Great people, great coaches."
If nothing else, Mularkey has assembled a coaching staff with a wealth of experience in the NFL on the offensive side of the football and experience bringing up a young quarterback. Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski has over a decade of experience as an offensive coordinator and was with the Cincinnati Bengals during the upbringing of quarterback Carson Palmer, who was on the verge of becoming an elite NFL quarterback prior to his knee and elbow injuries. Mike Mularkey also brought in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Olsen, who worked with quarterback Josh Freeman during his first three seasons in the NFL.
Mularkey also brought in formally retired wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, who is renowned in NFL circles for his coaching ability. Mularkey told Jaguars color analyst Jeff Lageman on the Jaguars weekly radio show "Jaguars This Week" than Sullivan was flown out to Arizona personally by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and presented to head coach Ken Whisenhut because Fitzgerald wanted Sullivan hired as the wide receivers coach. Sullivan has spent 19 seasons in the NFL as a coach.
Sylvester Croom was brought in as the Jaguars running backs coach, who has 20 years coaching experience in the NFL, most recently with the St. Louis Rams. Under Croom as the coach, Rams running back Steven Jackson made the Pro Bowl in the 2009 and 2010 NFL seasons. During Croom's tenure with the Green Bay Packers, running back Ahman Green was voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls.
While Mularkey's staff does in fact have a wealth of experience, his success or failure will ultimately fall on the shoulders of quarterback Blaine Gabbert. "He's got a strong arm. He can move out of the pocket. He's intelligent, [can operate] the no huddle,'' Mularkey said. "I think he can do a lot of things for us. And I think the guy wants to be coached. You can tell some quarterbacks think they know it all. I don't have that feeling," Mularkey added.
If Blaine Gabbert winds up unsuccessful, which in turn will likely mean Mularkey will not be a success as the Jaguars head coach, it certainly won't be because of the coaching staff.