The recent reports out of Santa Clara indicate that Eric Mangini will be the new defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. After being with the team in an offensive capacity for the last couple of years, he switches back to the side of the team that was his bread and butter for a while, culminating in his position as defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in 2005.
One big concern about Mangini as the coordinator is that, well, he wasn't that good in 2005. In fact, his defense was pretty bad. Yet, he does have a reputation of being a defensive backs guru. Before becoming the defensive coordinator, Mangini was the defensive backs coach for the Patriots. Fooch had some thoughts on that in this article, which also contains an evaluation from Pats Pulpit.
Given Mangini's apparent strengths (the DBs) and his apparent weaknesses (everything else?), one has to wonder how much control he will have over the defense scheme and play calling. Since Jim Tomsula is a defensive coach by nature, is it safe to assume that he will implement the defense he wants to see and then have Mangini manage the small stuff? Or, will he hand over the reins entirely?
It is possible that Tomsula will want to maintain some control over the front seven of the defense - he has, in the past, dealt with the front seven on game day. His desire to switch to a 4-3 before even hiring a defensive coordinator might indicate that Tomsula will still be involved with the front seven, if not more.
Additionally, it is possible that other coaches might have some play calling responsibilities. Matt Maiocco has an article about how much more head coaching experience other defensive coaches have than Tomsula has. The play calling responsibilities might be spread around as a consequence. Maiocco also had the following tweet after Jason Tarver was hired as the LB coach.
Confirmed: 49ers hire Jason Tarver as senior defensive assistant/LBs coach. No DC is hired, but Tarver will have some input on calls.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) January 21, 2015
What do you all think? How much power over the defense will Mangini have? All of it? Or, will Tomsula want a piece of that pie? What about other defensive coaches? Will they have some say as Maiocco indicates?