» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 40 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 16, 2016

Titans OC Robiskie appreciates the head coach's help – to a point

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, talking here with wide receiver Kendall Wright during practice, has learned to live with Coach Mike Mularkey’s “help.”

-- Ap Photo/Mark Zaleski

Being an offensive or defensive coordinator can be a thankless job.

Call a play that backfires, and all the armchair coaches in the stands and watching at home are screaming for their head. And of course, when those amateur play-callers have Twitter at their fingertips, it only makes the criticism worse.

Worse, what must it be like for a coordinator when he faces scrutiny from his own head coach, who just happens to come from his side of the football.

In times past, then-head coach Jeff Fisher often kept a hand in defensive game plans and was known to make some play calls when Jim Schwartz and later Chuck Cecil were in their infancy as coordinators.

Now, with Mike Mularkey, a former NFL tight ends coach and offensive coordinator at the helm of the Titans, how does his presence and influence affect current offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie’s game calls? Is it an advantage?

“No, and don’t tell him I told you that,” Robiskie says with a hint of a smile.

“If you’ve got a defensive head coach, you might make a call and the defensive head coach will blink his eyes, like ‘OK,’” Robiskie says. “A head offensive coach like Coach Mularkey picks up on that immediately and goes, ‘Whoa, now.’ And you hear about it immediately.

“A defensive-minded coach, I might have to wait until Monday to hear about it, but with an offensive coach, it’s immediate.”

Sometimes, however, there is an advantage to working under someone who has been in the same position before, Robiskie says.

“The advantage of it is to have a guy there who has done it, who has sat in that seat. He understands it,” Robiskie explains. “He knows the trials and tribulations of it. The good part about it is, sometimes he can hear it quickly enough to go, ‘Are you sure about that one? Let’s try such and such.’ So that’s a plus, too.”

Mularkey says he realized long ago working under Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh that a head coach is more apt to zero in on the position and responsibilities he knows best, even though his primary job is to run the club overall.

“I learned that as a position coach. When somebody is doing what you’ve done before, you’re a little more critical, because personally I don’t think that guy is ever going to do it exactly right,” Mularkey says. “But it’s not just me. I watched it with Coach Cowher with the special teams coaches and linebackers. That’s when it first hit me. It was like, ‘Wow! He’s a lot harder on the special teams coach because that’s what he coached.’

“It’s not that it’s right or wrong, it’s that it’s not how he would do it precisely.”

For his part, Mularkey admits he was guilty of over-scrutinizing his offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, both areas he previously manned in his coaching career, when he was head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2004-05.

“These guys know that. I know that. I’m way better. That’s one thing I am better at than in my Buffalo days. (I was) being a little bit too hard on the guys that were the coordinator and the tight ends coaches. I saw that about myself, and I think that’s one thing I have gotten better at,” Mularkey says.

On game days, Mularkey says he tries to ensure communication with the offensive coaches is constantly flowing to help alleviate the second-guessing that could occur.

“One thing we do very well on the sideline, and Jason Michael is part of that because he’s talking to the quarterback, we have very good communication going on,” Mularkey says. “We are always talking ahead of what the next down and distance is. But we already know what’s going to happen (regarding a play call) before it happens.”

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0