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Need a fresh perspective? Eric Mangini suggests switching sides of the ball


Eric Mangini spent a decade in the NFL as an assistant coach and coordinator, nine of them on the defensive side of the ball with the Jets and Patriots, before landing his first head coaching job with the Jets in 2006.

During that time as a defensive assistant, Mangini worked under some great minds in Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick,. Certainly plenty of learning was done under those coaches and their respective staffs, but it wasn't until he landed a job on the other side of the ball that he started to see the game in a different light.

Mangini's first head coaching stop with the Jets lasted three seasons before being let go, and in the two seasons that followed he led the Browns franchise. After being let go in Cleveland, Mangini spent a few seasons out of coaching as an analyst for ESPN. All of those moves are pretty well known, but his two years in San Francisco have been relatively under the radar.

In June of 2013 Mangini was hired by Jim Harbaugh with the 49ers as a senior offensive consultant, and a year later he moved to coaching the tight ends.

Now he's returned back on the defensive side of the ball with the franchise, coordinating the defense for first-time head coach Jim Tomsula. Mangini explained to that those two years in the offensive meeting room have exposed him to a new way of thinking about the game.

"I had a chance to get out of my comfort level. It’s something we ask the players to do: challenge themselves (and) do things they may not be comfortable with. But for me from a learning perspective, it was fantastic to be able to see how offensive coaches game plan."

"I’ve sat in (offensive) meetings as a head coach, but to be in there day-to-day and to talk about the techniques and talk about the approach and see the things that bothered them and concerned them, that they had to deal with, it puts you in a better position to know what can make offenses uncomfortable on the defensive side."

Taking a look at the rest of Tomsula's defensive staff, three of them have coordinating experience, so it will be interesting to see how they all mesh and come together and use Mangini's s fresh perspective from the offensive side come fall.

Read the full piece here.