The San Francisco 49ers appear to be closing in on their next defensive coordinator. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Eric Mangini is going to be hired for that role. Mangini previously served as the 49ers tight ends coach in 2014, and a senior offensive assistant in 2013. He was let out of his contract after this past season, but it appears will be back.
Mangini got his start on the defensive side of the ball, working five years as Patriots defensive backs coach, and one year as defensive coordinator before departing for head coaching opportunities. As Patriots DC in 2005, the team's defense was fairly awful. Football Outsiders ranked the defense 7th in 2004 and 2006, but 27th in 2005. I asked Richard Hill from Pats Pulpit about it, and he sent along a quick comment:
The 2005 Patriots actually had the worst defense of the Belichick era. It was a real disappointment with a -stacked- roster. That said, he does an excellent job of developing defensive backs. He gets a lot of credit for Asante Samuel, Darrelle Revis, and Joe Haden. I think with a head coach who is so good at developing the defensive front seven, adding someone who specializes in the secondary will actually work out pretty well for SF.
The 49ers have reportedl hired Jason Tarver as linebackers coach and senior defensive assistant, and Matt Maiocco reported Tarver will have some input on play-calling. With Jim Tomsula as head coach, I am curious to see how the play-calling and game-planning structure will work for Mangini as defensive coordinator. Does Tomsula have a vision that Mangini will scheme around? Or will Mangini be in charge for the most part? We don't know (and probably will never know for certain), but it is something that makes this a difficult situation to fully interpret.
Head coach: Jim Tomsula (news)
Offensive coordinator: Rob Chudzinski (news), Mike Shanahan (rumor), Lane Kiffin (rumor)
Defensive coordinator: Eric Mangini (news)
Linebackers coach: Jason Tarver (news)
Special teams coordinator: Thomas McGaughey (news)
Quarterbacks coach: Geep Chryst (TBD)
Running backs coach: Tom Rathman (news)
Offensive line coach: Chris Foerster (news)
Assistant OL coach: Eric Wolford (news)
Wide receivers coach: Ronald Curry (TBD)
Tight ends coach: Tony Sparano (news)
Offensive assistant: Mick Lombardi (TBD)