Three years after sitting out of football, former head coach Eric Mangini is attempting to get back into the NFL ranks as a consultant for the San Francisco 49ers. According to CBS’ Jason La Canfora, he would “assist the offense with ideas on how to prepare for certain defenses, etc.”
Prior to joining the Jets in 2006, Mangini was considered one of the bright, young minds in the game. From 2000-2004, he was the defensive backs coach of the New England Patriots. After that, he was promoted to defensive coordinator for one season.
Having another successful coach on the staff will only strengthen the 49ers in terms of their preparation and game planning. Mangini could be successful in a limited role, as he has insight and experience on defense and understands how coverages work. Giving offensive coordinator Greg Roman an opportunity to bounce ideas off of him would make their attack more potent.
But examining this hire on a long-term basis, can Mangini be the heir to either Roman or defensive coordinator Vic Fangio?
Based on the 49ers’ run of success thus far, there’s a realistic chance that one or both coordinators leave for head coaching gigs after 2013. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints even tried to contact secondary coach Ed Donatell for their defensive coordinator position. If Mangini is seeking a promotion at some point in the future, he certainly picked the right destination.
At 42-years old, Mangini is still young in his profession. While he went just 33-47 as a head coach, he might have learned something along the way. Perhaps he’ll need to take a step back as a consultant, before he can take another step forward in his career and reclaim his title as the “Mangenius.”
Much like how the 49ers stockpile draft picks and quality talent, they could be taking the same approach when it comes to their coaching staff.