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Liking his profile


INDIANAPOLIS – So much for Mike Mularkey's moment in the spotlight.

Seconds into the new Jaguars head coach's media availability early Friday afternoon at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, an announcement came over a loud speaker that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III – one of the weekend's two major stories – was available across the room.

Immediately, several reporters rushed away – "I could feel the wind going by," Mularkey noted later with a laugh – and Mularkey was asked later about the incident, if it bothered him.

Absolutely not, he said.

"I almost ran over there," he said, laughing.

Mularkey, who was named the Jaguars' coach six weeks ago, said not only didn't he mind not being the day's most high-profile story, he actually preferred it – and that in a sense, it fit not only him, but the Jaguars' approach.

Mularkey said he's not about attracting attention, or being the focus.

And right now, he said that's the general feeling around the Jaguars – that what's important isn't any one individual, but the direction of the franchise.

"I hope I'm an under-the-radar guy," Mularkey said. "I don't look for any kind of a spotlight, by any means. That's also (Jaguars General Manager) Gene Smith. I know (Owner) Shad (has) gone out there and is trying to get people involved with the community, trying to make this more of a name outside Jacksonville, but I don't think it's about looking at him.

"He's trying to make the point, 'Look at us. Look at us as an organization.' I think we're all on the same page as far as the level of where we're flying."

Mularkey's availability Friday was his first on a national stage since being named head coach on January 11, and he was asked if he believed the Jaguars could contend quickly in the AFC South.

"I don't see why not," he said. "Let's just get a healthy group, a healthy team and see if we can compete with everybody in this division. I foresee that happening. I'd just like to see us with a full-strength team and another off-season for our quarterback."

Mularkey, who spent the last four seasons as the Falcons' offensive coordinator, said he considers the Jaguars a less fragile situation than he and Head Coach Mike Smith inherited in Atlanta. In Atlanta, Bobby Petrino had left as head coach the previous off-season, and Michael Vick recently had left the franchise.

"I give credit to (interim coach) Mel Tucker," Mularkey said. "When this (past) season was over, these guys were still playing hard and in a good state of mind. One thing hard up there (in Atlanta) is we had to gain their trust before we could teach them a play. I don't think that's going to be the case here. These guys are hungry to take it all in and get us going in the right direction."

Also on Friday, Mularkey:

*Confirmed defensive tackle Tyson Alualu underwent surgery on the knee that bothered him during his first two NFL seasons. Mularkey said the surgery was not major. "We're anxious to see how he is when he feels 100 percent," Mularkey said. "He was a disruptive player on that knee. We'll see how much more he can improve from it." Mularkey said he anticipates Alualu being ready by training camp.

*Discussed the future of defensive ends Matt Roth and Aaron Kampman. Roth is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Kampman is under contract, but there has been speculation about his future with the team after playing 11 games over the past two seasons. "They're very good players," Mularkey said. "We're still going through the roster and not making any changes as of yet. We're trying to get our free agents addressed first and trying to let some of these guys heal who ended up on IR. We're going to address it as some point." Kampman played three games last season and finished the season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury after dealing with the aftereffects of reconstructive knee surgery early in the season. "He's ahead of progress with his rehab and itching to get back to where he's capable of playing," Mularkey said. "We have to monitor the health. He still has not passed."

*Called the Jaguars' offensive line "a very good line. It has good depth. There are some things we're going to do schematically that are different than what was done with the prior offense. Hopefully, we can have a balance among everything we do, including their ability to pass block and run block."

*Discussed right tackle Eben Britton. Mularkey said after missing much of last season with a back injury, Britton has been working out at the facility every day. "He's probably gone overboard trying to rehab. It's impressive to watch." Mularkey said he expects Britton to be ready by training camp and is hoping he can be ready by April 16, when the team holds a voluntary veteran minicamp.

*Called defensive end Jeremy Mincey "a good football player we'd like to get back." Mincey is scheduled to become a free agent March 13.

*Said the Jaguars' defensive performance last season was particularly impressive considering the offense finished 32nd in the NFL. The defense ranked sixth in the NFL. "You shouldn't have an offense ranked last and a defense ranked sixth," Mularkey said. "That's kind of unheard of. Usually, you play of off each other with time of possession, turnovers – all of the above. You have to complement each other in some fashion. We're going to see if we can balance it up offensively."

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