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February 19, 2014
New gig: Mangini to coach 49ers tight ends in 2014


INDIANAPOLIS - Eric Mangini, who spent his first season in San Francisco with the nebulous title of senior offensive consultant, will have a more specific job description in 2014 -- tight ends coach.

Reggie Davis, who coached 49ers tight ends for the last three years, will become the team's assistant offensive line coach, a spot that opened when Tim Drevno was hired to coach the offensive line at USC.

Mangini formerly coached the Jets and Browns. Until last season, his expertise mainly has been on the defensive side of the ball. But he was brought in by Jim Harbaugh to work with the team's offense by offering a defensive-minded perspective.

Harbaugh also said he consulted with Mangini, who watched games from the coaches' booth, on replay reviews. The 49ers were 2-9 on replay challenges in 2013. Only five teams were worse.

Asked Thursday what made Mangini right for coaching tight ends, Harbaugh said, "He has a very extensive resume as a football coach. He spent the whole season on the offensive side of the ball last year. He's coached an entire defense, an entire team. He's more than qualified to coach three, four, five tight ends."

Mangini, 43, spent 2011 and 2012 as an NFL analyst for ESPN. But after being hired by the 49ers, he was frank about his desire to be a head coach again.

"That's definitely a goal of mine," Mangini said in June. "Right now, I'm doing what I can do here as well as I can do it. I think it's every coach's goal to eventually do that."

Mangini first met Harbaugh three years ago when the 49ers spent a week in Youngstown, Ohio. Mangini remained close with special teams coach Brad Seely, Magini's assistant when he was the head coach of the Browns, and Seely invited him to the session. He took a trip to Santa Clara early last offseason, which is when Harbaugh and he first discussed a spot on his staff.

"The great thing that I've found with Jim and (offensive coordinator) Greg (Roman) and all the guys here is it's ego-less," Mangini said. "And that's really appealing. Everyone just wants to get to the right answer. And to me, input seems to be really encouraged, and I'm happy to offer it if I think it will help."

One of the new tight ends coach's main tasks will be to get more production out of No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald. A second-round pick in April, McDonald played 480 snaps in 2013 but finished with only eight catches for 118 yards and no touchdowns.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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