The 49ers are considering Eric Mangini for their defensive coordinator opening, a league source confirmed today. Mangini served as the team’s tight ends coach last season and was an offensive consultant with the 49ers the year before that.
His background prior to 2013, however, has been on the defensive side of the ball, especially with defensive backs. Mangini, 44, was the Patriots secondary coach from 2000-04 before being promoted to New England’s defensive coordinator in 2005.
He was a head coach for the five years after that, first with the Jets (2006-08) and then the Browns (2009-10). He spent two years as a television analyst before joining Jim Harbaugh’s staff in 2013.
The 49ers already have interviewed former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, although Tarver’s possible role on Jim Tomsula’s staff is not known. Tarver coached outside linebackers with the 49ers for four years before becoming Stanford’s defensive coordinator in 2011. He joined the Raiders the following year.
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Mangini, meanwhile, already has interviewed with Washington for their opening at defensive coordinator -- which today went to San Diego linebackers coach Joe Barry -- and reportedly was in Oakland today to discuss the Raiders’ defensive coordinator opening.
Mangini did not make a mark as a tight ends coach. The 49ers offense was decidedly more wide-receiver heavy in 2014 than it had been in years’ past. The top player at the position, Vernon Davis, finished with only 26 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Vance McDonald, a second round pick in 2013, had two catches for 30 yards and finished the season with a back injury.
The 49ers could tap Geep Chryst, who served as quarterbacks coach from 2011-2014, to coach the tight ends, something he has done in the past. Chryst, however, has drawn interest from both the Bears and the Raiders. His son, Keller, is a quarterback at Stanford, which may prompt Chryst to remain in the Bay Area.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.