The San Francisco 49ers lost a small number of assistant coaches this offseason, which means there will be a modest amount of re-shuffling in the ranks. Matt Barrows first reported that a source indicated the 49ers would move current TE coach Reggie Davis to assistant offensive line coach, and move senior offensive consultant Eric Mangini to TE coach. Matt Maiocco followed this report with his own that multiple sources said this would happen. The move was predicated in part on Tim Drevno's decision to leave his assistant OL job to join USC as their offensive line coach.
I can't necessarily criticize this move because I don't really get it. When I say that I don't get it, I don't mean that in a "WTF" sense. Rather, I am a little confused by the notion of a guy who has spent his career focused on the defensive side of the ball moving over to coach an offensive position. I know this is not the first time, but when I've seen examples in the past, it is usually much earlier in a coach's career.
Some folks on Twitter made a good point about the notion that if a coach is a good teacher, they can teach proper technique and whatnot for any position. This is one area where my knowledge is limited enough that I can't make an intelligent comment on it.
Mangini has been a bit of a lightning rod for criticism, even though there really hasn't been a lot of specifics for criticism. Coach Harbaugh mentioned that Mangini was involved in the replay challenge process, and people quickly jumped on Mangini when problematic challenges happened. This in spite of the fact that Coach Harbaugh never really gave specifics about Mangini's role. By not providing much detail, it has left us with a fairly sizable vacuum. People are going to speculate about what is actually going on. I suppose now with him potentially taking over as TE coach, the complaining can focus in a little more!
Jim Harbaugh meets with the Combine media later today at 9:15 a.m. PT. I'd imagine he'll get a question about this from one of the Bay Area media members on hand. The press conference might show up on NFL Network, but I'm not entirely sure. DenverBroncos.com appears to be live-streaming all the press conferences. 49ers.com will have video of it shortly after it ends. If you're on Twitter, @MatthewFairburn and @MockingTheDraft are at the Combine, and will be live-tweeting Coach Harbaugh's press conference.