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Titans will stick with Mike Mularkey as coach

Titans will stick with Mike Mularkey as coach
Tennessee's Mike Mularkey will have the interim removed from his coaching title. (Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

The Tennessee Titans are keeping Mike Mularkey as their coach.

The man who handled the final nine games after the team fired Ken Whisenhunt this season was chosen Saturday, just hours after the Titans wrapped up their fourth and final interview for the job.

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Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said Mularkey won the job with his vision for the Titans and how he handled the final two months of the season as an interim coach. Mularkey was 2-7 in nine games after Whisenhunt went 3-20 in his tenure before being fired Nov. 3.

"Mike is a quality coach and an outstanding person who will help us build this team the right way," Strunk said in a statement.

"He has experience as a head coach and a track record for developing young quarterbacks and dynamic offenses, and he also brings continuity for our franchise quarterback. We understand this may take time as we rebuild the roster and bring in new coaches for Mike's staff, but we believe he has the experience and expertise to build a consistent winner."

Mularkey becomes the 18th coach for this franchise overall, and Tennessee's third since Jeff Fisher left in January 2011. He previously had two seasons in charge with Buffalo and one in Jacksonville. He is 18-39 — just 4-21 over his last 25 games — with the Jaguars and Titans.

Keeping Mularkey means avoiding having Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft, start over completely going into his second season.

"We won't be starting from scratch," Mularkey said. "With that as a basis, we will now be installing some new systems and bringing in new coaches and players to build on what we have started. There is plenty of work to be done until we reach our goal, but we will all work tirelessly to get us there."

Big day for Broncos' Thomas

Demaryius Thomas will celebrate his mother's freedom and treat her to her first NFL game Sunday when the Denver Broncos play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It'll be the first time Katina Smith has seen her son play football in person.

Smith was released from a federal prison in Florida last summer when President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders.

After her release from a Georgia halfway house in November, she had a 60-day travel restriction, so she was unable to attend any games during the season.

"I know she'll be excited," Thomas said earlier in the week. "It would mean a lot to see her first game live."

And for Thomas to see his mother for the first time out from behind bars since her conviction in 2000.

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Smith was convicted on drug trafficking charges for her role in a crack cocaine ring she and her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, operated out of their Georgia home.

Former Colts coach Marchibroda dies

Former Colts coach and broadcaster Ted Marchibroda has died at age 84.

Team officials made the announcement Saturday after confirming the death with his family.

Marchibroda coached the Colts twice — in Baltimore from 1975-79 and in Indianapolis from 1992-95. He led the Colts to the playoffs three times in Baltimore and once in Indianapolis before returning to Baltimore as the Ravens' first head coach.

Marchibroda went 87-98-1 in his career, including a 2-4 mark in the playoffs.

Etc.

The Indianapolis Colts have hired Joe Philbin as their new offensive line coach. Philbin spent the past four seasons as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, going 24-28 before being fired during the 2015 season. The longtime coaching veteran replaces Hal Hunter, who was let go this week by Indianapolis. ...

A person familiar with the decision says Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is no longer with the team. DeFilippo had two more seasons left on his contract, but he will not be retained by new Coach Hue Jackson, the person told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the move has not been announced by the team.

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