Commentary: Mangini Stays Put, Life Goes On

The Bernie's Insiders tipline has exploded this Saturday evening - as have our forums - on the news that respected DB coach Eric Mangini has decided to stay with Bill Belichick in New England. Barry offers up some links to the latest and his take on the news...

Yesterday, ESPN was reporting that Eric Mangini had decided not to go back to New England. They were wrong.

This morning, Lane Adkins reported that it looked like it was down to Cleveland and New England. As of Friday, it looked like Mangini was going to head to Cleveland, but he has indicated that he will be staying in New England.

First word came via the Bill Belichick mentioning it while interviewed following his round at the the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. After being asked a general question about replacing assistants, Belichick mentioned that Mangini has decided to stay in New England to be his defensive coordinator rather than joining the Browns or Dolphins.

Following that, our tipline and forums went nuts with threads about the Browns losing the bidding war for the hyped assistant coach, and later came nearly-identical stories from the Associated Press and ESPN.

Those are the facts as we know them.

We don't know why Mangini decided to stay in Boston, but it appears loyalty - an uncommon trait in the world of professional sports - played an important role.

Like most Browns fans, I wanted to see the team get their man. But it does bring a slight smile to my face to see someone exhibiting a personality characteristic I thought was being a quaint antiquity.

Landing Mangini would have been a very nice early feather in the caps of the new Browns front office.

It didn't happen, and the team will move on.

While Mangini was a highly sought-after assistant, still basking in the glow of the Patriots Super Bowl, his success as a defensive coordinator is no more assured than Crennel's success as a head coach. Unique circumstances of having two Belichick assistants (Saban and Crennel) promoted to head coaching jobs led to a bidding war which may mean little in the long run.

Looking past the hype, there are some reasons to not be too worried by losing out to Belichick for Mangini's services.

By most reports, Mangini did do a terrific job in reviving a Patriots secondary battered by injury. But he also had the fortunate circumstance to be surrounded by accomplished mentors in Romeo Crennel and Bill Belichick.

Those who question Crennel's input into the Patriots championship defense, giving a lot of credit to Belichick, would have to ask the same questions about Mangini. 

In addition, Mangini was very fortunate to be working with a team that had success with their other defensive units. We in Cleveland have seen first-hand how important the front seven are in determining the fate of the pass defense. An effective pass rush and a smart overall defensive scheme can make an average defensive secondary look good, and a good one look great.

That may have been the case in New England, or Mangini might be as promising as those around him believe. We won't find out here. 

Trying to predict the future career of coaches can be as hard as trying to predict the promise of players.

Remember when many Browns fans were unhappy because Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak decided to stay in Denver and not become someone else's head coach?

It wasn't that many years ago.

Was it Gary Kubiak who has led a team to three Super Bowl championships as a head coach in four years?

No, it's not. That man is Bill Belichick. And we all know what the general consensus was on him less than ten years ago.

- BDMc


The OBR Top Stories