Defensive coordinator Eric Mangini said Wednesday he has no issues with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke getting on the field during practice and coaching some of his players.
Earlier in the week, two of Baalke’s former high-round picks, safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, said the general manager often gives them pointers, so much so that they refer to him sometimes as “Coach Trent.”
Mangini laughed off any suggestion that Baalke is overstepping his boundary.
“Most GMs that I’ve been around are the same way,” he said. “They’re vested not just from picking players and putting together a roster but also watching their development. It’s a positive thing when you have a consistent message coming from all the different levels. I think that’s a good thing.”
Mangini noted that a few of the executives he’s worked for previously – Mike Holmgren in Cleveland, Mike Tannenbaum with the Jets and Bill Parcells during Mangini’s earlier stint with the Jets – have been hands-on in practice.
Holmgren and Parcells, of course, were former NFL head coaches with Super Bowl titles on their résumés. Baalke coached at the collegiate level from 1990 to 1995 when he was defensive line/strength and conditioning coach at South Dakota State.
“When you have that title, you really have, your bounds are different,” Mangini said. “It’s the same thing if you’re the owner or wherever you are in the structure. You have to look at the big picture. You have to look at everything, and if you feel like there’s something that needs to be said or that you feel like there’s something that could help somebody, you’re going to do it.”
Lynch practices – Aaron Lynch practiced in full for the first time since a Dec. 6 concussion, but his outside linebacker counterpart, Ahmad Brooks, missed practice because of shoulder and back issues. Lynch’s 6 1/2 sacks this season lead the 49ers.
Also missing practice was offensive lineman Marcus Martin, who suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals. That increases the chances that Erik Pears will start against the Lions at right guard and rookie Trent Brown will make his first NFL start at right tackle.
Guard Alex Boone (knee), running back Shaun Draughn (knee), receiver Torrey Smith (back, toe) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (ankle) also missed practice. If Draughn can’t play, Kendall Gaskins and newcomer DuJuan Harris will be the 49ers’ only healthy running backs in Detroit.