The Jacksonville Jaguars not firing Mike Mularkey on Black Monday was one of those things that you could justify if you really wanted to, but that still caught a lot of football fans off guard.
On one hand, when your roster is as awful and unimpressive as Mularkey’s is, you can’t look at a 2-14 record and lay all of the blame at the coach’s feet. Especially not if it’s that coach's first year. On the other hand, there are certain signs that even bad teams show which indicate potential improvement down the road. The Jaguars didn’t show any of those signs.
And so, given all that, the announcement on Thursday that new general manager Dave Caldwell was going to move in a different direction didn’t exactly knock folks off their feet. The writing was on the wall.
"I know Mike well and do not want anyone to misinterpret the rationale behind my decision," Caldwell, said in the team's press release.
"Mike is an excellent coach and I am sure he will succeed in his next stop in the NFL. However, I must do what I believe is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and immediately explore every avenue possible to turn our football team around.
"For that to happen as seamlessly as we want, and as quickly as our fans deserve, I feel it is in everyone's best interests for an immediate and clean restart."
Mularkey had two years remaining on his three-year contract. He is the eighth head coach to be fired thus far this season.
(Kudos USA Today)