JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Falcons coach Mike Smith says the Atlanta Falcons have granted the Jaguars permission to interview Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for Jacksonville's head coaching vacancy.
Mularkey went 14-18 in two seasons as head coach with Buffalo (2004-05). He has been Atlanta's offensive coordinator since 2008, helping mentor quarterback Matt Ryan.
That could help him with Jacksonville -- a team trying to get more out of rookie Blaine Gabbert.
Jacksonville has also received permission from the New York Jets to interview offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for the Jaguars' job.
Jets coach Rex Ryan has said he expects the embattled Schottenheimer to be back unless he becomes a head coach elsewhere. General manager Mike Tannenbaum also wants the offensive coordinator to return, but confirms Monday that Schottenheimer will speak to the Jaguars.
Schottenheimer, the son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, has been the Jets' offensive coordinator for six seasons but has been highly criticized for the Jets' inconsistencies on a unit that ranked 25th overall and for quarterback Mark Sanchez failing to progress in his third year.
Smith said Monday the Falcons "have signed off and granted that opportunity." He says Mularkey's "sole focus" this week is on Sunday's playoff game at the New York Giants.
The Jaguars fired coach Jack Del Rio in November and put general manager Gene Smith in charge of the coaching search.
Asked about the process after the Jaguars' season-ending victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Smith said there were some viable candidates, but wouldn't name any names.
"The next two weeks are very important," Smith said. "We'll actually start sitting down with people. You can get consent to talk to people who are at this point in the playoffs. It depends if they have a bye-week or if,obviously, they don't, and also if their season is over."
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