Earlier this week, the Kansas City Chiefs hired former Nevada coach Chris Ault in a consultant role. This is the time of year when former coaches seem to pop up into new lower profile roles, and the 49ers might be getting in on the action. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora is reporting that the 49ers are in talks with former Jets and Browns head coach Eric Mangini about a potential consultant position.
LaCanfora followed up with this tweet about Mangini's potential role:
Mangini's role with the 49ers, if it came together, would be to assist the offense with ideas on how to prepare for certain defenses, etc— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 15, 2013
Matt Maiocco had this little tidbit:
Eric Mangini attended an in-season 49ers practice in 2011 at Youngstown State.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) May 15, 2013
Before Mangini flamed out as a head coach, he was an assistant coach under Bill Belichick. Mangini was initially an offensive assistant, but in 1997 he moved to the defensive side of the ball. He was a defensive assistant to Belichick (under head coach Bill Parcells) from 1997 to 1999. He followed Belichick to the Patriots where he served as defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2004, and defensive coordinator in 2005. He then took over as head coach of the Jets from 2006 to 2008 and the Browns in 2009 and 2010. Most recently he has been working as a broadcast analyst.
I sent some emails out to our Jets and Browns bloggers to try and get some more details. One of our Jets writers said, "Mangini's a pretty bright guy. He has a lot of smart theoretical ideas. His problem was implementing them in a hands on role so I think he'd be pretty good in a consulting job." This seems to jive with what I've heard about Mangini over the years. While Bill Belichick has had tremendous success as a head coach, it seems like his assistants have struggled once out of the nest.
For the 49ers, this would be a matter of bringing in the smartest people they can find. The team can never have enough good assistants, and adding Mangini would provide a little more smarts for the room.