Monday, January 23, 2006

2006 Dolphins Offense Will Feature a Bunch of Mularkey

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban named Mike Mularkey offensive coordinator. Mularkey, from Ft. Lauderdale, returns to his native South Florida very familiar with the AFC East, having served the previous two seasons as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach.

He finished with an overall record of 14-18 in Buffalo, including a 9-7 season in 2004 when his team won nine of its final 12 games. Prior to his time in Buffalo, Mularkey spent an eight-year stint on Bill Cowher’s coaching staff in Pittsburgh, the final three as offensive coordinator.

In Mularkey’s first season as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator in 2001, the Steelers were the NFL’s third-ranked offense and had the No. 1-ranked rushing attack. The 13-3 Steelers won the AFC Central crown that season, led by quarterback Kordell Stewart, who threw for 3,109 yards and earned a Pro Bowl selection.

Mularkey’s unit followed that showing with a No. 5 offensive ranking in 2002, as he helped Tommy Maddox set a franchise record for completion percentage (62.1) and guided the team to a seventh-ranked passing offense in Maddox’s first season back after a ten-year absence from the NFL. Mularkey, who played tight end in the NFL for nine seasons (1983-91), coached that position in Pittsburgh from 1996-2000 before taking over as the club’s offensive coordinator.

In Mularkey the Dolphins have a proven guy at offensive coordinator. When you look at what he did at Pittsburgh with sub-par talent at quarterbacks it seems as if Miami got a steal with this guy. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams the Dolphins are set to have one of the best, if not the best, rushing attacks in the NFL next season. With the deep threat of Chris Chambers and the possession receivers of Marty Booker and tight end Randy McMichael, Miami can be aggressive with their passing attack if the quarterbacks get solid tutelage.

I’m in favor of this move and actually excited about it. August can’t get here soon enough!