With a new position coach in Eric Mangini, the San Francisco 49ers tight ends are seeing the game from a new perspective.
Mangini, a defensive coach for nine seasons with the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, now coaches on the offensive side of the ball. His experiences carry over to his new protégés, who benefit from his understanding of defensive schemes.
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"With coach Mangini, it's a lot different since he has a defensive background," tight end Garrett Celek told 49ers.com. "We focus on the guy across from us, evaluating him. What's he like in base? What's he like in his stance? How is he in pass rush? How is he in the run game? How does he fit?"
Mangini and the tight ends go over each individual opponent. Though some of that work won't be put to use until August, McDonald and the rest of the tight ends are getting in that habit by dissecting their teammates during the offseason.
That preparation has helped McDonald continue to grow as he begins his second NFL season.
"[Mangini] has so much knowledge on the defensive side of the ball, you kind of see our system differently and how you fit in instead of looking solely on the offense," McDonald said. "It's been an awesome offseason with him."