The San Francisco 49ers coaching staff just got better.
While other NFL clubs sign offseason veterans to bolster depth, the 49ers added another respected football coach. With the announcement of Eric Mangini joining the 49ers, the respected coach is bringing a wealth of football experience in his new role as senior offensive consultant.
Jim Harbaugh was eager to bring a respected football mind on board to the 49ers. San Francisco's head coach first interacted with Mangini, a man with 15 years of NFL coaching experience under his belt, during a week of practices at Youngstown State University in 2011.
Harbaugh and Mangini spoke again in person in 2012 when the 49ers made another week-long trip in between East Coast games in Minnesota and New York. Mangini, a former head coach with the New York Jets (2006-08) and Cleveland Browns (2009-10), previously worked with 49ers special teams coordinator and assistant head coach, Brad Seely.
The conversations in Youngstown, coupled with positive reviews from members of the 49ers coaching staff, made it an easy choice to bring in Mangini into a consulting role for the next two seasons.
The defensive-minded coach will use his background to work with the 49ers offense to help Greg Roman and the offensive staff learn how defenses will prepare for San Francisco’s versatile offense. Mangini will also help the 49ers plan ways to attack opposing defenses.
“To be able to do something new like this is really exciting,” Mangini said. “To be able to do it in a place San Francisco, to me, that was a big part of wanting to come back.”
Harbaugh, too, felt excited about the first consultant hired in his three seasons with the 49ers.
“Feel like we added a really talented, knowledgeable coach,” Harbaugh said.
“He's brilliant, one of the smartest coaches I've been around,” McCoy said. “I think he can bring a lot. It's good to see his face. He's been around the game for a long time and has a lot of knowledge.”
Mangini was working with ESPN as a football analyst the past two seasons, but is still considered to have a strong reputation amongst his peers in the coaching profession. He spent six seasons with the New England Patriots in roles ranging from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator and was a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.
Harbaugh said he spent three days discussing the role with Mangini and the two football coaches felt the consulting role would be a good fit for Mangini and the 49ers.
“I think he’ll be a great addition,” Harbaugh said. “I think it makes us better.”
Mangini believes he’ll work well with the 49ers coaching staff because of the unselfish style of teaching in San Francisco.
“The great thing that I've found with Jim and Greg (Roman) and all the guys here is it's ego-less,” Mangini said. “That's really appealing. Everyone just wants to get to the right answer. And to me, input seems to be really encouraged, and I'm happy to offer it if I think it will help.”
Mangini would still like to become a head coach again in the NFL, but for now, his focus is on improving San Francisco’s offense by utilizing his defensive expertise.
“I like the idea of working on offense,” Mangini said. “I did that my first two years in the league, and I think that’s going to make me a lot better overall coach because it gives you a totally different perspective.
“I just want to help,” Mangini added. “Whatever that means, whatever that evolves into, that’s the most important thing to me is to help. I’m open to anything.”