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Sunday
Jan072018

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey addresses job security rumors after postseason victory

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Tennessee Titans secured its first NFL playoff victory since 2003 in a 22-21 Wild Card weekend win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night. ESPN reports head coach Mike Mularkey may have saved his job with the win.

Reports surfaced ahead of the team’s season finale with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a game which the Titans needed to win in order to reach the playoffs, that Mularkey would be fired even if Tennessee earned a playoff berth.

He addressed the rumors after the game, saying it was "ridiculous" that his job security was the main topic of discussion on the same morning the franchise was set to play its most important game in more than a decade.

Mularkey told the media talk of his job security was affecting his family, and subsequently, him as he prepared for the game. He said, "I don't think it's fair to my family. So when it has an effect on my family, it has an effect on me. So yeah, I'd say it had a big effect on me."

He also suggested he was not assured by team management that his job was safe, saying he "assumed the worst" if his team lost.

At one point in the game, the Titans trailed Kansas City by 18 points. However, Tennessee mounted an improbable comeback.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota led the way with two touchdowns. He defended Mularkey in his postgame press conference:

"Coach Mularkey had done an incredible job of handling this entire situation, and I think he's done a great job of keeping this team together, keeping us focused on our task at hand. He's done a great job."

Mariota was not the only Titan to come to Mularkey’s defense. Linebacker Brian Orakpo told reporters, "I'm happy to have him [Mularkey] as a head coach. Good Lord. I can't believe people talking about him losing his job."

Tight end Delanie Walker told reporters, "I always had faith in Mike. When he was trying to get the job, I was the one that had his back."

Mularkey has compiled an 18-14 record since becoming the Titans' full-time head coach in January 2016. His contract expires after the 2018 season.

The Titans advanced to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and will face the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers next.

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