Jags’ Mularkey making changes after hospital visit

Posted at: 12/12/2012 6:06 PM
By MARK LONG

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(AP) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey is making changes in his life.

Two days after being hospitalized because he didn’t feel right, Mularkey said Wednesday he plans to eat healthier, hydrate better and get more rest.

"I’ve got to take care of myself," he said.

The 51-year-old Mularkey said he received "a clean bill of health" after Monday’s tests at a nearby hospital, but the scare was enough to prompt some adjustments.

It was the first day of work Mularkey has missed in nearly 30 years as an NFL player and coach.

"I am feeling definitely better," he said. "It’s another good example to take a little better care. When your body is telling you something to get checked out, get checked out. ... I am feeling better and going full speed ahead."

Mularkey declined to divulge details about what led to his hospital visit, no surprise since the coach has threatened to fine his players up to $10,000 for talking about injuries during the season.

"I just did not feel myself, so I thought it would be best to get checked out," he said.

Mularkey arrived at the stadium Monday morning, felt ill and went to see a team trainer, who suggested he go get some tests. Mularkey was admitted to Baptist Medical Center, and the team said he might stay overnight. He ended up getting released in the afternoon.

"It all checked out," he said. "I have a clean bill of health with all of the tests. It’s all been taken care of. It’s an isolated thing that happened. I am glad I took care of it. I’d probably do it all over again."

Players insist they never were really concerned about Mularkey, especially because defensive coordinator Mel Tucker addressed the team Monday and told them the coach would be back at work the following day.

"Still, to this point, we don’t have any details about it," linebacker Russell Allen said. "He just said he’s doing a lot better."

The Jaguars (2-11) play at Miami on Sunday. With three games remaining, Jacksonville is on pace to be the worst team in franchise history, even more inept than the inaugural team in 1995.

The Jaguars rank 31st in offense and defense, have a NFL-low 14 sacks and have lost six games by at least 16 points. They have played most of the season without their best offensive (running back Maurice Jones-Drew) and defensive (linebacker Daryl Smith) players, and have taken so many steps back in Mularkey’s first season that some outsiders believe he could be fired along with general manager Gene Smith.

New team owner Shad Khan said last month he doesn’t plan on making any "knee-jerk reactions" following the franchise’s fifth consecutive season out of the playoffs.

Mularkey, meanwhile, is trying to keep things business as usual. Nonetheless, he held a meeting with eight team leaders first thing Monday.

"Around this time, it’s the boiling point," defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "Got to keep everybody together."

Added guard Uche Nwaneri: "This is a moment when people will be kicking at you while you’re on the ground. You have to keep playing hard."

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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)