Falcons catching break with Mularkey

It appears as if the Atlanta Falcons are going to catch a break. Jim Wyatt is reporting that Mike Munchak is expected to be named head coach of the Tennessee Titans, perhaps as early as today.

The reason that’s good news for the Falcons is because Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey also was in the mix for the Tennessee job. Although some Atlanta fans have criticized Mularkey for being too conservative, the fact is the guy has put a quality offense on the field the last three seasons.

Losing him at this time of year would have been particularly disastrous to the Falcons, who already lost quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to Minnesota, where he became offensive coordinator. Musgrave would have been an obvious heir apparent as Atlanta’s coordinator if Mularkey had left before him. But, if Mularkey had left now, coach Mike Smith would have been left scrambling to find a coordinator at a time when most coaching positions around the league have been filled and there aren’t many quality candidates available.

On a side note, and a bit of a personal note, congratulations to Munchak. I don’t know the man personally, but I grew up just outside his hometown, Scranton, Pa. I watched him play at Penn State and I’ve driven on Mike Munchak Way, which is the road that runs in front of Scranton High School (Munchak actually played at Scranton Central, before the city’s public schools were condensed).

Munchak’s rise only enhances this small city’s reputation as a cradle of coaches. I know I’m leaving off a few names, but long-time NFL assistants Joe Marciano and Vic Fangio are among a group of coaches originally from the Scranton area.