Mularkey crashed out of his first two shots at an NFL top job, resigning unexpectedly after two years with the Bills and lasting just one miserable 2–14 season in Jacksonville. The success or failure of his first season free of the interim tag in Tennessee has higher long-term stakes. The Titans’ new front office spent most of the off-season assembling the pieces of a physical offense that will be built around the running game. Needless to say, that’s not necessarily a seamless fit with the skills of dynamic second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota. If Mularkey really has been tabbed as the overseer of Tennessee’s multi-year rebuild, how receptive he is to what Mariota needs to grow is just as important this year as how dramatically the Titans improve upon their league-worst record. — Eric Single

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