Eric Mangini

49ers To Fire DC Eric Mangini

Having reportedly offered their defensive coordinator job this week to Mike Vrabel, the 49ers seemed intent on moving on from incumbent DC Eric Mangini. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports confirms that today, reporting (via Twitter) that the 49ers have fired Mangini.eric mangini

[RELATED: 49ers to hire Curtis Modkins as offensive coordinator, Derius Swinton as special teams coordinator]

It’s been a busy day for the Niners, who have reportedly made decisions on their new offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator as well. We also learned this morning that the club is considering its own linebackers coach, Jason Tarver, along with Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale, for the defensive coordinator position.

A report a few days ago from Marvez suggested that there was a “strong possibility” that Mangini, San Francisco’s defensive coordinator for just one season, would remain with the team. However, as Kelly and the 49ers interviewed other candidates this week and reportedly offered Vrabel the DC job, it became increasingly unlikely that Mangini would be back in any capacity.

Whoever ends up becoming the 49ers’ new defensive coordinator, replacing Mangini, will be faced with a unique challenge. In Philadelphia, Kelly’s Eagles ranked at the bottom of the NFL in terms of time of possession in each of the last three seasons due to their fast-paced offense, which forced the defense to spend plenty of time on the field.

Mangini’s 49ers unit, meanwhile, lost several key contributors prior to the 2015 season and ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed per game (387.4), finishing outside the top 25 against both the run and the pass.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Considering Tarver, Martindale For DC

After being turned down by Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, the 49ers have moved onto other defensive coordinator candidates, including one internal option. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link), San Francisco is considering its own linebackers coach, Jason Tarver, along with Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale, for the DC position.Don Martindale

[RELATED: 49ers part ways with offensive coordinator Geep Chryst]

Both Tarver and Martindale have previous experience in defensive coordinator roles, with Tarver having served as the DC across the bay for the Raiders from 2012 to 2014. Martindale, meanwhile, worked as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator in 2010.

Neither Tarver nor Martindale appear to have any previous overlap with Chip Kelly, so the new 49ers head coach isn’t simply targeting coaches with whom he has worked before. With the two linebackers coach entering the mix for the Niners’ DC job, it looks increasingly unlikely that Eric Mangini will be retained.

A report a few days ago suggested that there was a “strong possibility” that Mangini, San Francisco’s incumbent defensive coordinator, would remain with the team. There may still a chance of that happening, particularly if Mangini is open to a demotion, but I think if he were going to keep his DC job, the club would’ve made that decision by now.

The defensive coordinator position under Kelly is viewed as a unique challenge, since his fast-paced offense means the defense will typically spend plenty of time on the field. From 2013 to 2015, Kelly’s Eagles ranked dead last in the NFL in time of possession each season. However, the Niners head coach downplayed those concerns this week, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

“We get into the time of possession question and we’ve been in games where it was identical play snaps for us and our opponent,” Kelly said. “It was identical yardage for us and our opponent. It was identical first downs for us and our opponent. We won the game by seven, but they had the ball for 10 more minutes than we did.

“So all I learned is that they stand around better than we stand around. It’s still plays run. I’ve also never met a defense player that says, ‘Coach, I want you to possess the ball for the entire game so I don’t have to play.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coach Rumors: Eagles, Schwartz, 49ers, Fins

While there are no head coaching jobs in the NFL that still need to be filled, many clubs are still tweaking their coaching staffs, making changes among position coaches or hiring new coordinators. Here’s a round-up of the latest news and rumors on those changes from across the league:

  • There’s mutual interest between the Eagles and Jim Schwartz for the defensive coordinator role in Philadelphia. Per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter), if Schwartz and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson hit it off and all goes well at today’s interview, Schwartz will likely end up with the job.
  • Rapoport (Twitter links) also has a couple updates on the 49ers‘ defensive staff, reporting that Eric Mangini will interview to remain in his defensive coordinator role, while former Buccaneers linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson talked to the Niners about the same position in San Francisco.
  • Longtime offensive coach Al Saunders, who has worked recently with the Dolphins, Raiders, and Ravens, is a “strong candidate” to join Hue Jackson‘s Browns coaching staff, according to Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter).
  • Veteran coaches Jim Washburn and Jeremiah Washburn are headed to the Dolphins, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). Jim, the elder Washburn, will work with the defensive line as a senior defensive assistant, while his son Jeremiah will be an offensive line assistant. The duo previously spent time with the Lions, so Jim has a history of working with Ndamukong Suh.
  • Marvez adds (via Twitter) that the Lions denied the Dolphins‘ interview request for defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, who would have been a candidate for that DL job in Miami.

Coach Rumors: 49ers, Mangini, Giants, Titans

New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t been formally introduced by the team yet, and hasn’t made any announcements on his coaching staff, but it appears a handful of Eagles assistant coaches will be following him to San Francisco, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

As Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, the Eagles assistants remain under contract through 2016, so Philadelphia could block some of them from heading to the Niners if Doug Pederson wants to keep them, but the Eagles’ new head coach is likely to hire many of his own assistants as well.

One notable Niners assistant who may end up remaining in San Francisco is defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Marvez tweets that there’s a “strong possibility” of Mangini, who met with Kelly on Friday, returning to head the 49ers’ defense in 2016.

As we wait to see how Kelly’s staff shakes out, here are a few more coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • The Giants appear set to move on from offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and defensive line coach Robert Nunn, per reports by Jordan Raanan of and Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Nunn will interview for the Titans‘ DL coach job, says Garafolo.
  • Meanwhile, Marvez has a note on a potential incoming coach for the Giants, tweeting that ex-Rams offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti is in the mix for New York’s quarterbacks coach job.
  • The Titans have put in a request to interview Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie for their offensive coordinator job, sources tell Marvez and Garafolo (Twitter link).
  • Doug Pederson‘s biggest decision as he takes over the Eagles‘ head coaching job will be naming his defensive coordinator, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who writes that Pederson “can’t just blindly go with one of the big-name coordinators who are available.”

West Notes: Los Angeles, 49ers, Maclin

The Carson presentation drew laughs from the owners once Disney Chairman Robert Iger mentioned how he’d paid the owners plenty of money over the years. That comment, and a Jerry Jones joke following Iger’s exit from the room, helped escalate the downward-trending Carson initiative’s demise, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

He said he paid us. Last time I checked, that money is coming from Disney shareholders, not him,” Jones told his fellow owners during Tuesday’s relocation summit in Houston, per Farmer.

The owners voted 19-13 on whether their votes would be secret. After two votes, the Inglewood project received 21, three shy of the majority needed to relocate the Rams.

Roger Goodell then ushered Stan Kroenke, Dean Spanos and Mark Davis into a private room for an hour-long negotiation. Upon the trio’s return, Davis announced the Raiders were pulling out of the race, Farmer reports. The agreement that gives the Chargers a one-year window to decide on relocating to Inglewood had been discussed for more than six months.

Farmer also notes Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who had been vocal about his support for the Carson project and helped attach Iger to it, was silent most of the day.

Here is some more on Los Angeles and the latest on the Western-stationed franchises.

  • With economists estimating the Chargers can expect three to five times more revenue in Los Angeles than in San Diego, a source tells Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune “at least 10 teams” would be lining up to take the joint-tenant deal in Inglewood if the Chargers wouldn’t. Acee also reports there’s talk of a bit more than the $100MM the NFL offered to help keep the Raiders and Chargers in their respective cities available to the Chargers if they were to make things work in San Diego. Spanos could leverage San Diego with the deal the Chargers would be in line to receive alongside the Rams if in fact San Diego is serious about keeping the franchise, Acee writes. But San Diego now will entertain the notion of bringing another team to the city.
  • Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said Kroenke will be spending between $3 billion and $3.5 billion to relocate the Rams, factoring in the $550MM relocation fee and the Rams’ new stadium (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, on Twitter).
  • Several members of the 49ers‘ staff from last season has reportedly packed up and moved their things out of the team’s facility, Matt Maiocco of reports (on Twitter). Chip Kelly met with defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, per Maiocco, but the future of the San Francisco coaching staff is highly uncertain at this point. Kelly will meet with running backs coach Tom Rathman next week, Maiocco tweets. The former 49ers fullback’s been on the 49ers’ staff since 2009 and had to instruct one of the most injury-ravaged units in the NFL this season.
  • Former Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is under consideration for the job of 49ers offensive coordinator, ESPN reports (via Maiocco). A former New Hampshire player under Kelly, Day joined Kelly with the Eagles last season after being Boston College’s OC in 2013-14.
  • Both Eagles defensive line coaches, Jerry Azzinaro and Mike Dawson, are the most likely coaches to follow Kelly from Philadelphia, Maiocco reports. Azzinaro’s been Kelly’s D-line coach for the past seven seasons, doing so at Oregon from 2009-12 and with the Eagles since 2013.
  • Maiocco also reports (via Twitter) the 49ers could be considering Buccaneers tight ends coach Jon Embree for a spot on their staff if Dirk Koetter doesn’t retain him. The Colorado head coach in 2011-12, the 50-year-old Embree’s coached tight ends for the Chiefs, Washington, Browns and Bucs since 2006. He’s been with Tampa Bay since 2014.
  • A mutual interest in acquiring players with length and size could help Kelly and GM Trent Baalke work well together with the 49ers, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch notes.
  • The Chiefs declared Jeremy Maclin active for today’s game against the Patriots, but their top wideout reportedly had trouble walking during the week of preparation, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter). Maclin did not practice this week due to the high-ankle sprain he suffered last Saturday against the Texans.

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Mangini, Rams

The 49ers have not interviewed any candidates yet nor scheduled any, GM Trent Baalke told reporters, including Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). He added that there are no in-house candidates at this time which is interesting given the presence of defensive coordinator Eric Mangini. Geep Chryst, the team’s offensive coordinator, has had head coaching buzz in the past, but his stock isn’t terribly high after a dismal 2015 season in San Francisco.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • While keeping option open at the position, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said that quarterback Case Keenum will enter the 2016 season as the starter at quarterback, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets.
  • Fisher also said that team intends to bring in competition for kicker Greg Zuerlein, Nick Wagoner of tweets. Zuerlein is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
  • Fisher liked the job Rob Boras did as offensive coordinator, but has not made a decision yet on whether Boras will keep the job, Thomas tweets. Fisher indicated that there could be coaching staff changes made this offseason.
  • In addition to offensive coordinator Frank Reich, the Chargers announced that offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, wide receiver coach Fred Graves, defensive line coach Don Johnson, and tight end coach Pete Metzelaars have been let go.

NFC West Notes: Mathieu, Rams, 49ers, Lynch

Tyrann Mathieu‘s season-ending ACL tear did come with some positive news. Bruce Arians informed media the standout defender’s tear is “clean,” unlike the ACL and LCL tear the Cardinals‘ third-year dynamo suffered in Dec. 2013,’s Chris Wesseling reports.

Arians hopes Mathieu will be ready for OTAs, as Carson Palmer was following his late-season tear in 2014.

The former LSU star boasted a brace on his right knee and was instructing Arizona defensive backs on the practice field Wednesday.

Here is some more from the NFC West.

  • Rams starters Robert Quinn and T.J. McDonald went on injured reserve just before Mathieu, and both St. Louis defenders underwent successful surgeries this week, Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Both Quinn (back) and McDonald (shoulder) should be back for OTAs in April, Lyons adds. “From a timing standpoint, we needed to do it, just so we could get (McDonald) in the offseason program. Both of them will be fine early in the offseason,” Jeff Fisher told media, including Lyons.
  • Although Fisher noted Stedman Bailey‘s injuries were severe enough to end his NFL career, the third-year Rams wideout returned home from the hospital a month after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the head, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reports.
  • Marshawn Lynch will return to an altered Seahawks offense now that Russell Wilson‘s taken his game to a higher level. A faster Seahawks tempo will be an adjustment for the Pro Bowl running back, offensive line coach Tom Cable told media (including Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree). “We’re counting on him to get healthy whenever that is and then once that happens, it’s for him to come back in and be able to adapt to this football team and the way it acts and the way it’s moving right now collectively,” Cable said. “That will be his challenge, but right now his number one thing is getting healthy.” Pete Carroll remains iffy on when the 29-year-old bruiser will return, noting there’s “a chance” he’s back by the time Seattle plays its wild card game in just more than two weeks. PFT’s Mike Florio continues to opine that Lynch, due to occupy an $11.5MM cap number in 2016, will not be back with the Seahawks next season.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke has been out on the practice field instructing defenders, Matt Maiocco of writes, despite his only coaching experience coming as the defensive line/strength and conditioning coach at South Dakota in the early 1990s. Although it’s unlikely 49ers defensive coordinator Eric Mangini would tell one of his bosses to step off here, the former Jets head coach said Baalke hasn’t been shy about helping out on the field. “I haven’t been everywhere, but there are some GMs who might not be as present and maybe that works for their style,” Mangini told media. “For these guys it’s a little bit different and Trent has always been on the field at different points.”
  • The 49ers’ No. 1 need going into 2016 will be on their offensive front, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. Although Barrows offers recently retired right tackle Anthony Davis could well return for his age-26 season, the Northern California scribe obviously notes the team cannot count on him. Both starting guards, Alex Boone and Andrew Tiller, are due to be free agents.
  • Jarryd Hayne remains in the 49ers’ plans going forward despite being passed over for a late-season promotion onto the active roster, 49ers OC Geep Chryst told media (including Maiocco). The former rugby star not being as likely to be active on game day as newly signed DuJuan Harris led to the 49ers leaving Hayne on the practice squad.


Dolphins Rumors: Coyle, Tannehill, Campbell

While multiple reporters, including Jason Cole of Bleacher Report and Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links), suggested earlier today that Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was likely to be shown the door along with Joe Philbin, Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets that Coyle remains employed and is going about his job. Breer adds that Dan Campbell “has a call to make” on Coyle, suggesting the new interim head coach will make the decision on the DC’s status.

As we wait to see whether Coyle will continue to run the Dolphins’ defense, let’s round up several more items of interest out of Miami….

  • Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post provided an interesting report on the situation in Miami today, writing that Ryan Tannehill has been making negative comments toward practice squad players, who have been forcing him to turn the ball over in practice sessions. According to Wilson’s sources, the quarterback told players to “enjoy [their] practice squad pay check [and] practice squad trophy.”
  • If Wilson’s report is accurate, it’s a sign of a potentially dysfunctional locker room, but Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links) received a text message from a Dolphins player saying he was unaware of any rift between Tannehill and the club’s practice squad players. Of course, if the incident Wilson describe did happen, it’s unlikely that every Dolphin player would be eager to confirm it.
  • It was only a matter of months ago that the Dolphins signed Tannehill to a long-term extension, but that deal doesn’t really guarantee him a job beyond the 2016 season, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes. It may be a little early to say Tannehill’s long-term future in Miami is in jeopardy, but as Florio notes, new coaching staffs often aren’t tied to specific players on a team’s roster — even quarterbacks.
  • Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said today that Campbell will certainly be a candidate for the Dolphins’ permanent head coaching job in 2016, tweets James Walker of For what it’s worth, agent Brent Tessler tweeted today that his clients on the Dolphins said the locker room “loves” Campbell and is feeling good about the move.
  • Ross was loyal to Philbin to a fault, according to Jason La Canfora of, who says it would have made sense for the Dolphins to part ways with Philbin after the 2014 season. La Canfora also explores possibilities for Miami’s permanent coaching job, mentioning names like Eric Mangini, Sean Payton, and Jon Gruden, though their odds range from unlikely to very unlikely.
  • Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today identifies six potential head coaching candidates the Dolphins could consider in the coming weeks or months.

Extra Points: Eagles, Raiders, 49ers, Colts

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis spoke Sunday on the statuses of two of the team’s injured linebackers, Kiko Alonso and DeMeco Ryans.

Regarding Alonso, who suffered a concussion Tuesday and has missed four practices: “Kiko’s fine,” said Davis, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’ve been coaching linebackers my whole career. It’s just part of that position, when it sneaks up on you nowadays, we have great protocol. It’s not an issue. Kiko’s doing great. He won’t miss a beat.”

Davis was more guarded when discussing Ryans, who is recovering from a ruptured right Achilles tendon for the second time in his nine-year career.

 “DeMeco is a pro all the way through and is taking strides ahead of where most people would be, but he still has a little ways to go,” Davis said.
Ryans has participated in all seven of the Eagles’ training camp practices, but next Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts will be a much bigger litmus test.
“Any time you’re coming back from injury, you have to get in the game to see where you are,” said Ryans, who got hurt last November. “Go to the ground, tackle somebody, stand up, make sure everything is still intact. And mentally, I think that’s the last hurdle, going out and getting back in a game.”
More on Philly and the rest of the NFL:
  • The Eagles’ right guard situation could take some time to sort out, writes Jeff McLane of the Inquirer. The team has a vacancy there after cutting three-time Pro Bowl left guard Evan Mathis and replacing him with former RG Allen Barbre. John Moffitt, Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner and Julian Vandervelde are competing for the job.
  • 49ers defensive coordinator Eric Mangini is using his linebackers’ flexibility to his advantage as he tries to find a way to fill the void left by Aldon Smith, whom the team cut earlier this week because of off-field issues. “A guy like Aldon is not a guy that you just can replace,” Mangini said, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “He’s got a unique skill set. But one of the things that we focused on defensively is building flexibility, in terms of what we can play, and then building flexibility with who’s going to play there.” The lion’s share of reps at Smith’s former spot have gone to Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold, writes Gutierrez.
  • The Raiders could have the biggest interior defensive line in the NFL when Dan Williams and Justin Ellis, who combine to weigh 665 pounds, line up side by side. The two have been paired together often in camp, writes Jerry McDonald of “To be able to have those guys in the front, we feel like you shouldn’t run the ball on us,” safety Charles Woodson said. “If they put those guys up there, we should be a very stout defense. That’s what we’re counting on.”
  • Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is bullish about the team’s secondary, which helped the defense finish a respectable 12th overall against the pass in 2014. “I think we have an excellent group. We got playmakers and smart guys that communicate well and play well together. I’m excited for that group,” Pagano said, according to USA Today.

49ers Coaching Notes: Lewis, Pendergast

As the Patriots and Seahawks are readying themselves for the big game tomorrow, a former Super Bowl hopeful is prepare to build on a season that crashed down in flames. The 49ers had a disappointing 2014 season, involving injuries to key players, regression from others, and a huge coaching shakeup that leaves them filling out a new staff after missing the playoffs.

Here are some notes surrounding the 49ers’ coaching staff:

  • After Jim Harbaugh and his staff were among the highest paid in the NFL, Matt Maiocco of looked at whether or not the organization was being cheap in hiring the new staff. New head coach Jim Tomsula will make $1.5MM less than Harbaugh would have had he kept his position, and his assistants were among the highest paid in the league. Maiocco writes that whether they were being cheap or not, the 49ers were unlikely to pay any assistant approaching the $2MM Vic Fangio made last year.
  • According to sources, Harbaugh was told by the organization that he would not be welcomed back as head coach of the 49ers following a December 14th loss to the Seahawks, writes Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter).
  • Clancy Pendergast will likely be hired as the 49ers inside linebackers coach, reports Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 (via Twitter). Pendergrast was formerly defensive coordinator in Arizona and Kansas City before taking jobs at Cal and USC. He had been interviewing for defensive coordinator positions with LSU, Utah, and under Jay Gruden in Washington D.C. (via Twitter).
  • Marvez also reports that former Falcons defensive backs coach Tim Lewis will be taking the same position in San Francisco (via Twitter). He will be replacing Ed Donatell, and has spent time as a defensive coordinator with both the Steelers and Giants (via Twitter).
  • The hiring of both Lewis and Pendergast means that 49ers coach Tomsula has four former defensive coordinators working as assistants on his staff, according to Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. Eric Mangini will serve as the team’s defensive coordinator and Jason Tarver has been named the outside linebackers coach.
  • While the coaching staff has not been officially announced, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has put together a list of who has been named and expected to be on the staff.