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Mike Mularkey's Focus on Jets, Not Coaching Future


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Interim coach Mike Mularkey isn't much interested in comparing the Titans under his watch to the one that took the field at the start of the season under Ken Whisenhunt.

"I don't want to do that,'' said Mularkey, who replaced Whisenhunt last month, after the team started 1-6. "I am not going to compare. They are playing hard, and we are doing a better job of not beating ourselves...I just think our guys are trying to do the message I am trying to send to them about trying to win football games."

Mularkey, who has coached the team to a 2-3 mark in the five weeks since, also doesn't feel real comfortable in discussing what it might take to earn the job on a full-time basis.

His focus is on the next game, not the next four. Or what happens after the season.

The Titans face the Jets on Sunday. This past Sunday, the Titans toppled the Jaguars 42-39 to snap an 11-game home losing streak.

"I have said this really from the beginning, this is my coaching style, the way I approach it, no matter who I'm coaching," Mularkey said. "I'm going to continue to do that. And we'll see what happens in the next month when it's all said and done. We're going to approach every one of these games like we have, keep plugging away."

Mularkey doesn't hide the fact he's enjoying his opportunity to be a head coach again, however. And he said he appreciates the support of his current players, and those who support him.

The Titans have played hard under Mularkey. In addition to the two wins, the Titans have lost two games by a combined nine points.

The Titans went just 3-20 in Whisenhunt's 23 games as head coach.

"Hopefully you are doing something right for these guys,'' Mularkey said.  "I think the whole staff wants to do the right thing for these guys so they will go out and play with that kind of energy and that kind of want. I told them it was about winning for all of us." 

Mularkey said Monday he's stayed in communication with controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and the ownership group to make sure they are aware of what's going on with the team.

But he said he's not expecting a decision on his head-coaching future until after the Titans complete their season.

Mularkey hopes he will at some point have the interim tag removed, but his current goal is to win football games.

"I've done this before," said Mularkey, who previously served as head coach of the Bills and Jaguars. "I know how important it is to stay in communication and make sure (owners) are aware of everything that was going on, from even the day-to-day...But they were happy to get over the (home-losing) streak."


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