Former Falcons assistant is new Jacksonville coach

Mularkey photo shows Atlanta Falcons NFL football offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as head coach, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2012, a move they hope will help improve the league's worst offense. The team plans to introduce Mularkey at a news conference Wednesday. (AP Photo/File)

New Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan spoke with some big-name candidates, and then decided to make what he called the “smart” choice by hiring Mike Mularkey as the team’s new head coach.


The former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator was introduced as the franchise’s fourth head coach on Wednesday.

He expects to be a better head coach than his brief stint in Buffalo. Mularkey learned a lot from his days with the Bills (2004-05), including that he shouldn’t call plays. So the longtime coordinator will give up play-calling duties and hire an offensive guru.

Mularkey also plans to meet with former defensive coordinator and interim head coach Mel Tucker today, and likely will offer him his old job back.

COLTS: Ryan Grigson is a big man walking into a big job in Indianapolis.

The former offensive lineman was hired Wednesday as the new general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, a franchise facing some of the biggest questions in its long, storied history.

He will have to make a quick decision about whether to keep coach Jim Caldwell, and then whether to build next season’s team around four-time league MVP Peyton Manning or probable No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

Grigson has spent the past nine years with Philadelphia, where he was named director of player personnel in 2010 after four years as college scouting director.

PACKERS: Mike McCarthy called it a “punch in the heart.”

Then the typically stoic Green Bay coach briefly lost his composure, pausing for several seconds as he choked up with emotion.

It was another sign of how hard the team has been hit by the death of Michael Philbin, the son of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.

On Wednesday, Philbin wasn’t with the team, which will play the New York Giants on Sunday in the NFC playoffs.

He will be away indefinitely as he and his family deal with the loss of Michael, whose body was recovered from an icy Wisconsin river on Monday.

COWBOYS: Offensive line coach Hudson Houck is retiring, ending a 45-year coaching career that included 29 in the NFL.

Houck spent 13 seasons over two stints with the Cowboys. He returned to Dallas in 2008.

His contract expired after this season, and the 69-year-old coach said it was the right time to retire.

The Cowboys are hiring Bill Callahan as Houck’s replacement.

Secondary coach Dave Campo also isn’t returning with his contract expiring.



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