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Mike Mularkey's numbers as an offensive coordinator


MSalmon
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PRE MIKE MULARKEY AS O-COORDINATOR

In 2000 the Pitt Steelers were #17 overall offensively. Averaging right at 20 points a game with 2500 yds passing (kordell Stewart); and 2300 yds rushing.

MULARKEY AS O-COORDINATOR YEARS

In 2001 the Pitt Steelers jumped to #7 in overall offense, averaging 22 points a game. Kordell Stewart, again was the QB. They had approximately 3300 yds passing and 2700 yards rushing.

In 2002 the steelers were #8 overall offensively, scoring 390 points or 24.4 points a game. The passing yards were 4036 yards; and rushing yards were 2120 yards. But guess who was qb? It was Tommy Maddox & Kordell Stewart. Stewart saw action in 8 games, starting 5; Maddox replaced him as full time starter and had the bulk of yards.

In 2003 the steelers slipped to 19th overall offensively; scoring only 300 points for an average of 18.8 points a game. Interestingly enough the team finished 6-10 that year and the defense was horrid that year 15th overall. A Tommy Maddox-led passing attack gained approximately 3500 yards. NOTE: KORDELL STEWART WAS JETTISONED. The rushing attack gained 1488 yds total, and at that time Amos Zeroue was supposed to replace Bettis--who hung on a bit longer btw :)

POST MIKE MULARKEY O-COORDINATOR STEELERS

The 2004 Steelers offense jumped to #11 overall scoring 372 pts; averaging 23.2 ppg; the defense returned to first overall--NOTE: DEFENSE IS AFFECTED BY OFFENSE; 3000 yds passing and almost 2500 yds rushing. The QB was Draft pick Ben Roethlesburger

Everyone knows Mularkey was canned as the Bills HC and canned after a horrid year as an OC at Miami. He reenters as OC for us in 2008

We finish 10th overall in 2008; scoring 391 points or 24.4 ppg; with 3441 yds passing and 2443 yds rushing. As everyone knows a rookie--the ROY--Matt Ryan started

In 2009 we finished 13th overall in points scored with 363 points about 3700 yds passing and 1876 yards rushing.

Notice in 01 the Mularkey OC Steelers were #7; dipped to #8; and then all the way to #19 overall in total points offensively. Also note the way his QBs faded into obscurity. Rushing yards went from 2710 to 2120 to 1480 yds--with basically the same personnel. Interestingly enough, other than Willie Parker coming on the scene and Big Ben--the rbs were the same in 2005

In 2008 we had 2443 yds rushing and slipped approximately 600 yds rushing in 2009; eerily the same as the 2001 to 2002 Steelers

So what is the point of this post? Mike Mularkey as an offensive coordinator has been extremely consistent. Explosive first year; still good but noticeably slipping second year and at least in the case of the steelers--mediocre in the 3rd year. We'll find out in Atlanta.

Now i know one can blame injuries, perhaps; but is it really coincidental the way his two teams offensive numbers coincide? And scarier still is how the team's defense was affected.

My opinion is that Mularkey is an effective short-term "consultant" type that is far too predictable for long-term success, and if you all remember the Steelers didn't exactly try to "bust the bank" to keep him as a coordinator. I also posit that its not the players in Mularkey's system that fails. I simply think the system is too rigid and opposing teams adjust

Thoughts? Am i way off here?

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Very interesting and thanks for the research. Seems to validate the attacks.

your welcome. It suprised me to see how Mularkey's teams are so consistent number-wise. It's obvious he is a talented OC initially, but he can't seem to sustain success. What frightens me about Mularkey, is what effect does he have on Matt Ryan? Mularkey made and broke Kordell Stewart. And one can argue that Maddox was "reborn" and crashed again very quickly under Mularkey. Is this because he throws his QBs under the bus? Or do they simply lose confidence?

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Nice write up. There are so many factors and we really only have a sample size of one of those 3 year periods, at least until the end of this season anyways.

Saying that teams caught on to how we do things would be a valid point. And I don't think that playing tougher teams is an excuse at all for the dip last season. BUT, our entire team had 2 things working against them that were completely out of their control last year- 4 teams with an extra week to prepare against us, and injuries to our QB, RBs, WR, & OL.

So you can see that while excuses are unnacceptable, considering those factors, our offense did well to only fall 3 spots in scoring. We aren't talking W-L here, just offensive production. Good teams can grind out a win with their back up QB/RB/OL/WR, but they usually do it by stepping up on defense. So it's not uncommon for teams to win like that, but you aren't likely to see them in the top 10 in scoring. In fact, if you are running the ball to help cover for defensive short commings, or to run time off in victories, your scoring avg will go down due to less possessions but it would actually reflect success in winning.

I am among a very small minority in that I like most of what Mularkey has done here. What I hate is our WR routes. That is the single biggest thing I'd like to see him change. What I love, and think he deserves credit for, is Ryan running the sugar huddle. We all know Smitty doesn't own this offense. The decision to run it, and the succefful installation of it, was all Mularkey. It could be that we are soon running it as our base offense, like the Colts, and then Mularkey looks pretty **** good to me.

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Nice write up. There are so many factors and we really only have a sample size of one of those 3 year periods, at least until the end of this season anyways.

Saying that teams caught on to how we do things would be a valid point. And I don't think that playing tougher teams is an excuse at all for the dip last season. BUT, our entire team had 2 things working against them that were completely out of their control last year- 4 teams with an extra week to prepare against us, and injuries to our QB, RBs, WR, & OL.

So you can see that while excuses are unnacceptable, considering those factors, our offense did well to only fall 3 spots in scoring. We aren't talking W-L here, just offensive production. Good teams can grind out a win with their back up QB/RB/OL/WR, but they usually do it by stepping up on defense. So it's not uncommon for teams to win like that, but you aren't likely to see them in the top 10 in scoring. In fact, if you are running the ball to help cover for defensive short commings, or to run time off in victories, your scoring avg will go down due to less possessions but it would actually reflect success in winning.

I am among a very small minority in that I like most of what Mularkey has done here. What I hate is our WR routes. That is the single biggest thing I'd like to see him change. What I love, and think he deserves credit for, is Ryan running the sugar huddle. We all know Smitty doesn't own this offense. The decision to run it, and the succefful installation of it, was all Mularkey. It could be that we are soon running it as our base offense, like the Colts, and then Mularkey looks pretty **** good to me.

Great response! I agree we have to give Mularkey a chance to adjust. It is quite possible that experience has taught him to instill flexibility within his offense. The biggest problem i have with Mularkey (historically) has been his insistence on one powerback to propel the offense. If a powerrunning game is what propels us, then why not an emphasis in the draft on rbs and OLinemen? Same with his vertical passing game. Why not draft another deep threat?

Specifically, i point to the panthers and the cowboys and steelers. The panties have williams and stewart; the cowboys barber, choice and jones and the steelers had Parker and mendenhall. And all teams spend money on Oline.

We signed Turner to big contract, he got hurt and who else do we get? some PS scrubs and stick with a clearly in decline Norwood. Same with WRs. Everyone raved about Meir and HD--but really? a 3rd rounder and 5th rounder and neither are vertical guys. Why not grab some speedster to put alongside White. Or draft a rb to pair with Turner? You have to think Mularkey had some input into the draft. I saw a lot of OLine depth this year, but did we upgrade? I'm not seeing our Oline as stellar enough to focus only on depth, same with wrs and rbs. We need studs to make this type of offense work

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Sometimes I wondered, last year especially, if our coaches were actually more in tune with things than it appeared. I think they all made it clear that they wanted to run the sugar huddle more often(MM and Smitty said so), but then they didn't do it. My guess is that they knew it would expose our shaky defense too much. Then Ryan went down.

It could just be me, but I sense that we will be moving to a more aggressive approach as our defense proves it can hold its own. We'll still get our rushing yards, but more and more of them will come at the end of the game.

Everything is so inter-related. I mean our scoring numbers would be better if we could've made some kicks. We missed 10 FG last year. For comparison, there were 24 kickers in the NFL last season who took a similar number of kicks but missed 5 or less. That is 3/4 of the league that missed less than half as many as us. We were 29th in fg percentage. Thank you Elam.

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It could just be me, but I sense that we will be moving to a more aggressive approach as our defense proves it can hold its own. We'll still get our rushing yards, but more and more of them will come at the end of the game.

Everything is so inter-related. I mean our scoring numbers would be better if we could've made some kicks. We missed 10 FG last year. For comparison, there were 24 kickers in the NFL last season who took a similar number of kicks but missed 5 or less. That is 3/4 of the league that missed less than half as many as us. We were 29th in fg percentage. Thank you Elam.

These quoted points are excellent. I'm not sure on the first one, but it does kinda make sense if our coaching staff is still tentative about the defense.

I think the failure of field goals last year hurt the offense's confidence some as well. Its got to be demoralizing to have a good drive and come away with nothing

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I dont have a problem with his Offense. I think his scheme works really well. I would just rather someone else call the plays on game day.

I kinda agree. I keep talking about flexibility lacking in his scheme and that may well be like you say attributed to playcalling. Schematically, i like the powerrun and vertical option.

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MSalmon very good research and info. You would tend to think that a team's offense would improve each year, rather than get worse, due to increasing familiarity with a new OC and offensive scheme. However with Malarkey, the opposite appears to be true. I think that there is a lot of truth in your concluding remarks: "My opinion is that Mularkey is an effective short-term "consultant" type that is far too predictable for long-term success... I also posit that its not the players in Mularkey's system that fails. I simply think the system is too rigid and opposing teams adjust."

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MSalmon very good research and info. You would tend to think that a team's offense would improve each year, rather than get worse, due to increasing familiarity with a new OC and offensive scheme. However with Malarkey, the opposite appears to be true. I think that there is a lot of truth in your concluding remarks: "My opinion is that Mularkey is an effective short-term "consultant" type that is far too predictable for long-term success... I also posit that its not the players in Mularkey's system that fails. I simply think the system is too rigid and opposing teams adjust."

Thanks, Prof. I sincerely hope that the numbers lie and Mularkey bucks the trend, but the downward trend of two teams is seriously too coincidental to ignore. Regardless, what happens, i think Mularkey has had a positive impact on our team, but i do hope if his "trend" becomes too obvious to ignore that we make a change

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So if we ultimately wind up running the sugar huddle the majority of the time, and it propels us to become a top 10 offensive team, will people just give Ryan the credit? Or will Mularkey recieve his due for being the OC who designed and installed it?

On another note, this video is pretty funny. Singletary reminds me of Smitty in many ways, and he too is having to answer questions about his OC-

http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2010/09/video-mike-singletary-interview-dad-gum-yahoo-commercial/

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I wanted to do something similar, because Mularkey hasn't been able to keep a job for long, or show much consistency in his ability to run an offense. A few years in Pitt, two in Buffalo, two in Miami, and we just saw what he can do for us in two years, and that isn't a whole lot. Maybe 1 out of every 3-4 years he can put together a good offense.

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Where is the analysis of his Olines?

Yall can bring Sean Payton in here tomorrow and he will have similar issues. His Oline is way better than ours.

Watch the tapes. That is the problem. They struggle against good defenses. Especially 3-4 defenses.

Mularkey is not the problem.

Saints don't put up 30 points in every game either. They struggle. I also think their tackles are terrible, but have two great guards. Brees knows when to get rid of the ball as well. It's not entirely the line, but also scheme and quarterback.

Edit: I would like to point out- 14 against Minny, and last year 17 against Dallas, 17 against Tampa, and 10 against Carolina.

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Saints don't put up 30 points in every game either. They struggle. I also think their tackles are terrible, but have two great guards. Brees knows when to get rid of the ball as well. It's not entirely the line, but also scheme and quarterback.

Edit: I would like to point out- 14 against Minny, and last year 17 against Dallas, 17 against Tampa, and 10 against Carolina.

Good point. I'm sure mularkey has input into personnel. Like i said, i'm not saying the loss against the steelers is indicative of things to come, but HISTORICALLY Mularkey has helmed offenses that peak early and decline rapidly

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Where is the analysis of his Olines?

Yall can bring Sean Payton in here tomorrow and he will have similar issues. His Oline is way better than ours.

Watch the tapes. That is the problem. They struggle against good defenses. Especially 3-4 defenses.

Mularkey is not the problem.

I couldn't disagree more. Look at how horrible our o-line performed under quitrino, only to come close to leading the league in rushing and allowing very few sacks the following year to Ryan.

Coaching makes all the difference in the world in reference to how our players play. The OC and boudreou have everything to do with how our o-line plays. Yes, some of it is players and talent, but a majority of it is the proper coaching and gameplanning to cover weaknesses and use strengths.

**** leboux outcoached MM, and the steelers Defense outplayed our offense.

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I couldn't disagree more. Look at how horrible our o-line performed under quitrino, only to come close to leading the league in rushing and allowing very few sacks the following year to Ryan.

Coaching makes all the difference in the world in reference to how our players play. The OC and boudreou have everything to do with how our o-line plays. Yes, some of it is players and talent, but a majority of it is the proper coaching and gameplanning to cover weaknesses and use strengths.

**** leboux outcoached MM, and the steelers Defense outplayed our offense.

so your vote is the players are not the problem it's the coordinator and his scheme, yes?

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