Report: 49ers fire defensive coordinator Eric Mangini

According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, the San Francisco 49ers just fired another assistant coach.

Do you like this move, and why do you think the 49ers made it?

This article has 97 Comments

    1. Disagree. A new coach should be able to come in and install his entire own staff (And they do 90% of the time). Its best for everyone. Clean state. Only special coaches like a Tom Rathman should stick around.

  1. Mangini has been with the 49ers too long ( 1 yr as DC ) and several as position coach. His defense was bad, but it doesn’t help to have a consistent 3 and out offense. The 49ers are just cleaning house, I wish Fangio wolud come back.

    1. Mangini with the 49ers:

      Hired by we don’t know who to do something never defined on offense.

      Tight ends coach.

      Defensive Coordinator for Tomsula.

      Mangini was a kind of mystery depending on when the move to prepare the public for Harbaugh’s departure actually began. That’s also an unknown.

      The interesting thing is that so few people seem to know when he came and what he did his first year with the 49ers. I don’t recall a confirmation of who hired Mancini in the first place. Maybe someone with a better memory does.

      1. The 49ers had the worst TE group statistically in the NFL in 2014 as well as the worst defense in the NFL in 2015. Bon voyage!

  2. I was in the camp that they should keep Mangini for at least another season. I’m only surprised that they waited this long to do it given that it seems pretty clear they had little to no intention of keeping him in the position.

  3. Thought you guys would enjoy this. Another Chip Kelly media narrative debunked by, you know… facts:

    In all 3 years, PHI defense under Chip Kelly had BETTER defensive DVOA in the 2nd half of games than the 1st. Snaps weren’t the issue #49ers

    1. Forgot to also add this to the above:
      @BetterRivals In first 2 yrs under Chip Kelly, PHI had better defensive DVOA over FINAL 8 games of than the first 8 gms. Snaps were not the issue.

        1. No, the link I provided below shows that the Kelly offense needs to step on the brakes a little or the defense will continue to suffer.

            1. The offense was as fast at moving the ball and scoring as it was at going three and out. That would gas any defense.

              1. That wasn’t due to just Bradford though. The signing of a RB that didn’t buy into the system played a huge role as well.

  4. As CfC says, strange to keep from firing him until now if they weren’t going to keep him. He wasn’t a great DC but he was missing a few key pieces to make his D really work, and I do think the D would have been improved second season in.

    Onus is on them to find someone better now. Speculation that Tarver is in the mix does not inspire confidence.

      1. Where is your source that they are interviewing him? I just heard he has been talked about just like Tarver. According to Ian Rapport Tarver is the front runner.

  5. I kinda wanted Mangini to stay, but Chip’s friendship with Belichick probably would have made that relationship a little dicey.

  6. Looks likes the 3rd defensive system for this team in as many years. Could be a couple of years before they’re solid again.

    1. I beg to differ. If they can re-sign Williams and draft Buckner, that defensive line will be stout.
      Now, if only they can sign a decent FA pass rusher and draft a hidden gem ( NO ACL), they might get better.

      1. Always begging and differing :). They need some upgrades in key areas in multiple positions and consistency in coaching. They’ll be better hopefully than last year but like the offensive unit it takes a while to get cohesive around a new plan. They were 28th this season remember. They were not very good.

    2. That’s my fear. Though without upgrading the DL, ILB and OLB positions that would likely be the case anyway if they kept Mangini.

      1. I think the OLB position is going to depend on whether the new DC likes what he sees in Harold and if he plans on continuing to transition Carradine to being an OLB.

        1. Anyone coming in and thinking they are set at OLB because of those two is foolish. Neither has done anything in the NFL as yet to suggest that is so. They might think the potential is there, but you’d still want to add to the position.

          1. Neither has done anything in the NFL as yet to suggest that is so.

            Neither had former 49ers/Bears McDonald. Different position, but food for thought nonetheless.

            1. The Potential is there for both players, but it’d be nice to be like the Broncos at 4 deep in OLB. We could really use another guaranteed performer since these guys are just potential performers.

              1. My point is that the incoming DC and Kelly might see a guaranteed starter where we only see a potential starter.

              2. It’s possible. I don’t think we used Tank correctly in converting him to a DE. He had great promise in college. He seems like a liability in coverage as an OLB. Harold seems to just need some experience and girth.

            2. I don’t understand the McDonald reference, Mid? He had been part of the rotation, a good part of it, before becoming a starter. Neither Harold or Tank have really impressed.

              1. McDonald might have been a first round pick had he not had the medical concerns with his knees….

              2. But he had done nothing to merit being a starter let alone being given a new contract Scooter. He wasn’t bad, but he had done nothing impressive either.
                Razor, that didn’t guarantee that he could be a starter though.

              3. Yes he had, Mid. He had performed well as part of the rotation. That often leads to a starting role. Harold and Tank have not impressed.

              4. Part of the rotation doesn’t mean you’re capable of starting Scooter. McDonald was still a backup when he became a free agent. It is only when he was resigned that he became a full time starter.

                That often leads to a starting role. Harold and Tank have not impressed.

                According to you. The new coaching staff could see things differently.

              5. That’s ridiculous Mid. No player is a starter until they are. How they show whether they are ready to start is through playing well as part of the rotation, or being forced into the role through injury/ having nobody else. McDonald played well as part of the rotation, which is exactly why he got his extension prior to being a full time starter.

                And sure, Harold and Tank not impressing is just my thoughts. But do you disagree? Would most reasonable people disagree? Maybe the new DC comes in and thinks they are just the guys they need. But you can say the same about every single position. So there goes your idea about the team needing a WR and CB.

              6. You’re still missing my point Scooter which is that the new DC and Kelly might like what they see in Harold and the transition of Carradine to OLB that they could choose to bypass the position that we see as needing an upgrade until later on in the draft.

              7. And the same applies to every position, Mid. Maybe they like the WRs. Maybe they like the CBs. So maybe they will bypass those positions too. But you seem happy to say those are big needs. But when I suggest OLB for some reason you feel that position in particular is one the new coaching staff may feel comfortable with. Why?

              8. I never once said that it didn’t apply to other positions Scooter- just that what we may see as a need doesn’t necessarily mean that the coaching staff (or even Baalke) do. Case in point the WR position. I strongly believe the team needs a #1 WR or at least a complementary one next to Smith, but that doesn’t mean Kelly will see it the same way; he could see Patton, Simpson, or Smelter as ideal on thd opposite side of the field.
                Do I think the team needs some help at OLB? Yes, but more in terms of a backup than a starter as I feel that a RDE that can aid the ROLB as a bigger need, again that doesn’t mean that the new coaching staff sees it the same way.

              9. So why not say the same about DL and ILB? I said all three positions, not just OLB.

                You said specifically the OLB position may depend on the coaching staff. Which would imply you think Harold and Tank in particular could be guys that the new coaches like. If that isn’t the case it was a pointless statement.

              10. In regards to ILB, I think it will have to be addressed because of the lack of depth at the position. The DL will depend on whom they cut or let walk in free agency.

              11. Right, which is what I responded to before you took this off on a tangent about McDonald, which was a very different situation. Harold and Tank have done nothing of note and have not been impressive, and I think it would be foolish for the new coaching staff to believe they are set at the position.

                You have yet to outline why you think the new coaching staff may feel they don’t need to address the position because of Harold and Tank. Why you think those guys in particular could convince the coaching staff, over guys at other positions you feel are a need.

              12. Right, which is what I responded to before you took this off on a tangent about McDonald, which was a very different situation. 

                So talking about something that differs from your take is considered a tangent by you? Good to know. :-p

                You have yet to outline why you think the new coaching staff may feel they don’t need to address the position because of Harold and Tank. Why you think those guys in particular could convince the coaching staff, over guys at other positions you feel are a need.

                That’s asking me to delve into the mind of Kelly and possibly also the new DC which is something I can’t do. The only thing I can do is say (once again) that the coaching staff could see something they like about Harold and Carradine that we haven’t seen.

              13. And once again, we can say exactly the same thing about every position. If you aren’t willing to elaborate on why those guys in particular, you made a pointless comment. Arguing for the sake of arguing.

              14. Good grief Scooter, I’m merely pointing out that what may seem like an area of need doesn’t necessarily that the coaching staff will see the same thing. I can’t elaborate because I don’t know what the new coaching will see at the position. Heck, they could redeploy Brooks at ROLB again for all we know.

              15. Fair enough. I guess I just don’t see why if you meant it to be an all encompassing statement across any position you felt the need to say “I think the OLB position is going to depend on whether the new DC likes what he sees in Harold and if he plans on continuing to transition Carradine to being an OLB.” Seemed pretty position specific, like you thought those guys in particular were guys a new coach might like.

              16. That’s because I see various outcomes that can occur at that position, and all of them are contingent on what the coaching staff sees in regards to the current personnel at ROLB. The same can apply to the other positions you listed, but I’m guessing the ROLB is the one of the three that could go in the most directions. Of course that will depend on Kelly and his new DC.

              17. I understand that Mid. What I am asking is why you think that? You clearly must see something you like about Harold and Tank to feel that position in particular could be one the coaching staff feel comfortable with. So far you have been unwilling to give a straight answer on that.

  7. Here’s where Barrows thinks we are with regards to the new coaching staff:

    The 49ers have yet to announce any hire aside from running backs coach Tom Rathman. Other assistants, however, have been working alongside Kelly this week but do not yet have completed contracts.


    Coordinator: Curtis Modkins

    Quarterbacks: Ryan Day

    Offensive line: Pat Flaherty; assistant offensive line coach, Eric Wolford

    Receivers: Bob Bicknell

    Running backs: Tom Rathman

    Tight ends: ?


    Coordinator: Don Martindale or Jason Tarver

    Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro

    Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver?

    Inside linebackers: Hardy Nickerson?

    Defensive backs: ?

    Special teams

    Coordinator: Derius Swinton

    Read more here:

  8. Bad move! Across the board, a bad termination. Mangini is not only good, he somehow kept the decimated defense kicking and competing well, even though the offense kept them on the field for 60% of the game. All of Kaepernick’s 1-2-3-punt series kept bringing the offense back onto the field, even while the D linemen were still huffing and puffing from the previous possession. Against that adversity, the defense was starting to gel into a prideful fighting machine. Now, apparently Chip is only looking at linebacker coaches to take over the defense. Oh boy, this can get ugly real quick.

    1. His defense was needlessly complicated, the gaps in his zone coverage were too big, he put way too much pressure on the linebackers to cover, poor tackling and lack of discipline were some of the things I would have gone over with him as I handed him his pink slip….

      1. While I am happy Mangini is gone, he had a tough row to hoe. Niners lost 7 starters on defense. Cowboy, Willis, Borland, Skuta, Macdonald, Smith, Cox and Culliver.
        The loss of talent and leadership was striking.

  9. Clearly, the best method for improving any football defense at any point is an efficient ball control offense- football strategy 101. As we all know, Bill Walsh mastered the concept and his teams were consistently high in first downs per game keeping the defense off the field for long stretches allowing his defense to stay strong to hold the lead in the second half. If I recall correctly, Walsh believed a team needed a range of 20 or more first downs per game to effectively control the clock and flip the field. During this time Walsh used the run to “compliment” the short pass. New England generally relies on this concept and has done well with it.

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