New 49ers senior offensive consultant Eric Mangini is in town and already at work with the 49ers, so it should be no surprise that he took some time to talk with the media on Tuesday. You can listen to the full audio at the 49ers website.
Mangini discussed what led to his eventual hiring, and it turns out he had a sit-down with Jim Harbaugh when the 49ers had their layover last year in Youngstown. Coach Harbaugh invited Mangini out to visit and eventually worked his way to offering Mangini a job.
Mangini has signed a two-year contract with the 49ers, and said that he also wanted to get back into coaching. Willie McGinest had an interesting comment on NFL Network about Mangini as a coach (h/t to Eric Branch for this transcription):
"With Eric, when he was a defensive back coach and he was a defensive coordinator, he was one way. I had a candid conversation with Eric at the Hall of Fame and I said, ‘Eric, the thing that made you special and made us gravitate to you was the way you are.' When he became a head coach in New York and a head coach in Cleveland, he changed a little bit.
"He felt he had to change as a head coach, but he didn't (have to). He has the skills, he has the tutelage, he's been under some great minds. He's a very, very intelligent guy when it comes to schemes and game plans, and putting together players to fit those schemes and game plans. This time around he understands, like anybody who makes mistakes, what he didn't do well the first time.The second time around that he can do a lot better."
Mangini has spent the last two seasons working at ESPN, getting a break from the grind of coaching. He mentioned that as one of things he's enjoyed about not being a coach right now. But of course, the competitive streak is still there, so he is back.
Mangini will be working with the offense to break down opposing defenses. It sounds like he could evolve into a variety of other roles, but that's what we know so far. It will be interesting to see what Mangini brings to the table from his experience in the Parcells/Belichick coaching tree. Mangini will be able to learn in a different system, which will make him more well-rounded as a coach. On the other hand, Coach Harbaugh and his coaching staff can learn from Mangini and help improve what they do week in and week out moving forward.
There are some who don't want too many chefs in the kitchen, but I'm of the school of thought that you can't have too many smart minds. As long as you have a strong leader, I'm not overly concerned about the egos involved. Coach Harbaugh has been an effective leader of the 49ers, so this is just one more opportunity to show his leadership.