Back in 2011, Jim Harbaugh‘s brain trust heading into the San Francisco 49ers head-coaching gig was a group of seeming no-names when it came to NFL popularity. Obviously with the massive success in Northern California over the past two years, name recognition and quality of hire don’t go hand in hand.
Vic Fangio has since provided over arguably the league’s best defense of the past two seasons, but wasn’t exactly a household name outside of Stanford alums and college football diehards. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman was another assistant brought over from Stanford, while general manager Trent Baalke rose up the hierarchy of the 49ers front office over the years.
So this makes the addition of erstwhile Cleveland Browns and New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini an interesting call by an organization that doesn’t typically go after the big names. Mangini had been fired by both organizations, but also raised his profile as an ESPN analyst, offensive guru with the New England Patriots and ensuing hard feelings with Pats Coach Bill Belichick.
Mangini will serve as an offensive consultant and is in no way replacing Roman. ESPN released a short post via their news services, including this connection:
“Mangini has ties to 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, who was a personnel scout for the New York Jets in 1998-99 while Mangini was a defensive assistant. Mangini also has previously worked with current 49ers special teams coach Brad Seely.”