Jaguars given permission to interview Mularkey

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Falcons coach Mike Smith says Atlanta has granted the Jaguars permission to interview Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for Jacksonville's head coaching vacancy.

Smith said Monday the Falcons "have signed off and granted that opportunity." He says Mularkey's "sole focus" this week is on Sunday's playoff game at the New York Giants.

The Jaguars fired coach Jack Del Rio in November and put general manager Gene Smith in charge of the coaching search.

Mularkey went 14-18 in two seasons as head coach with Buffalo (2004-05). He has been Atlanta's offensive coordinator since 2008, helping mentor quarterback Matt Ryan. That could help him with Jacksonville; the Jaguars are trying to get more out of rookie Blaine Gabbert.

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AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Flowery Branch, Ga., contributed to this report.