Last year, the San Francisco 49ers hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini as a senior offensive assistant. For a guy who had primarily a defensive background, the role seemed a little unusual at first, but was described as one that would see him work with the offense to find weaknesses in opposing defenses.
Today, Mangini's transition to an offensive coach continued when the 49ers named him...their new tight ends coach. David Fucillo from our 49ers affiliate had this to say on the unexpected news:
I can't necessarily criticize this move because I don't really get it. When I say that I don't get it, I don't mean that in a "WTF" sense. Rather, I am a little confused by the notion of a guy who has spent his career focused on the defensive side of the ball moving over to coach an offensive position. I know this is not the first time, but when I've seen examples in the past, it is usually much earlier in a coach's career.
Some folks on Twitter made a good point about the notion that if a coach is a good teacher, they can teach proper technique and whatnot for any position. This is one area where my knowledge is limited enough that I can't make an intelligent comment on it.
Former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski recently accepted a position with the Colts as a special assistant to the head coach, but he's the guy who has a background with tight ends. We'll see if this eventually leads to Mangini, who is only 43 years old, getting a bigger role around the league next year, such as a coordinator position (and who knows...it might be on offense!).