So you've been ignoring me for over a month and refused to reach my posts about Head Coach candidates because we already employed Tony Sparano? Well, that was your mistake! Haha. Sorry, I don't know what came over me. I already talked about the top available coach, Bill Cowher. I also profiled top assistants such as Rob Chudzinski, Joe Philbin, Pete Carmichael Jr, and Bruce Arians. I even threw a curve ball with Tony Sparano. Now I'm going to throw you a change-up that you're sitting on, waiting to knock it out of the park.
This week I present to you Eric Mangini, formerly know as The Mangenius. Of course, he was also called The Penguin by former Jets WR Laveranues Coles because of his waddle. I know what you're thinking. Miami goes from fist pumps to waddling? Hold off there for a moment!
While Mangini is probably among the last names you'd expect to see on a list of candidates because of a career 33-47 record, comes from the Belichicktree, and was a coach on both New England and New York, there is some plausible reasons he may be considered for Miami's Head Coach position.
The Mangenius was a LB for Wesleyan University, the same football powerhouse Belichick came from. He even joined the Cho Psi Fraternity, which Belichick was a member of. The fraternity is a not-so-secret society that supposedly teaches their members about brotherhood and self-respect. Sources inside the classified organization also tell me they special in hand-shaking etiquette and video taping. What does this have to do with Manging and the Dolphins? Absolutely nothing, so let's move on!Mangini caught the eye of Belichick in Cleveland while serving as a ball boy. Belichick liked Mangini's work ethic and later promoted Mangini to a PR intern.
He finally received his first coaching job as an offensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. He worked there for a single year before being lured to the New York Jets as a defensive assistant by Belichick and Bill Parcells. Great, he's another coached that has been attached to Parcells. I can see now you're hating this even more as you read. Still, hang in there! Mangini served three years as a defensive assistant for the Jets before leaving after Belichick scribbled his resignation as Jets Head Coach and gave a resignation speech to the media instead of an introductory conference scheduled to introduce him as the Head Coach.
Mangini followed Belichick to the New England Patriots and served as Defensive Backs Coach for five seasons. He worked with several standout players, including Ty Law, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison. He was promoted to Defensive Coordinator in 2005 after the departure of Romeo Crennel.
By this time, Mangini was already considered a rising star in the NFL and after a single season as Defensive Coordinator in which the Patriots defense ranked 17th in the NFL, Mangini was hired away by the Jets. The rivalry started as Belichick didn't think Mangini was ready to leave and the Jets, in their futile attempt to look for any type of victory, claimed one as they thought they lured the next Belichick away from the coaching staff that betrayed them 6 years earlier. In the end, it was Patriots 2, Jets 0.
Mangini inherited a franchise that was 4-12 in the previous year under Herm Edwards and immediately turned them around, going 10-6 and reaching the postseason. The caveat with that is that in Edwards' final season, Pennington started only 3 games. The Jets rotated through QBs such as the aging Vinny Testaverde, Jay Fiedler, and Brooks Bollinger. The 2004 Jets teams also went 10-6 and went to the postseason, leaving some to question whether Mangini made as big a turnaround as was reported and seen on paper.
Unfortunately for Mangini, Pennington went 1-7 as a starter in 2007 and was replaced late in the game by Kellen Clemens in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills. Clemens would go 3-5 the rest of the way and the Jets finished a disappoint 4-12.
In 2008, the Jets got off to a hot start with Brett Favre joining the team as their new QB and resident pervert. Though the Jets started 8-3, they had a late season collapse as Favre wore down. They lost the final game in 2008 to the Miami Dolphins to eliminate them from postseason contention. After a 9-7 record, Mangini was fired.
Mangini was hired soon after by the Cleveland Browns as their new Head Coach. His first moves were to hire Rob Ryan and current Dolphin Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll. Mangini struggled mightily in Cleveland, but he inherited a team with little talent. He had to resort to Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn as his QB and Jerome Harrison and an aging Jamal Lewis as RB. Mohamed Massaquoi and Chansi Stuckey were his most productive WRs. The Browns finished 2009 with a 5-11 record.
In 2010, the Browns appeared to be moving forward. Their defense improved and Colt McCoy, a rookie 3rd round pick, showed flashes of potential. Despite the improvement on their defense and hope for their offense, Mike Holmgren chose to go with his own choice for a Head Coach and fired Mangini after another 5-11 season.
By now, you're scratching your head and wondering why Mangini is a potential candidate. I asked you to hang in there and if you have, this is your chance to find out why he's a potential candidate. Despite his record and his chafing personality as a Head Coach, Mangini is still viewed as one of the smartest coaches. Many attribute his failures to his coaching style in New York and limited talent in Cleveland. The belief is with a year off to reflect, Mangini could eventually come back as a NFL Head Coach and have success. Many front office personnel are still enticed by his knowledge.
Mangini has also done a terrific job in the NFL Draft He drafted D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold in the first two rounds of the 2006 NFL Draft. He also found solid role players with Leon Washington (4th round), Brad Smith (4th round), and Drew Coleman (6th round). He brought in Darrelle Revis and David Harris in the 2007 NFL Draft as well. The 2008 Draft saw mixed results with first round bust Vernon Gholston, but he found Dustin Keller towards the end of the first round. He also drafted current Dolphin Nate Garner in the 7th round. With Cleveland, he found Alex Mack in 2009 and Joe Haden, Montario Hardesty, and Colt McCoy in 2010.
Perhaps the biggest and most simple reason Mangini is a candidate is because he reportedly speaks to Stephen Ross on a regular basis to provide advice. Ross even scheduled a meeting with Mangini shortly after he was fired by the Browns. Ross finally canceled the meeting while he was flying back from California, where he spoke with Jim Harbaugh. Chances are the meeting was only canceled to mitigate public backlash of interviewing Head Coach candidates while Sparano was still employed.
Mangini does have a less-than-stellar track record as a Head Coach, but he has acquired a good amount of talent and has great knowledge of the game. The fact that he ran a 3-4 defense in Cleveland and hired Daboll as Offensive Coordinator may also mean the Dolphins would see little turnover and may keep Daboll on board. Mike Nolan would be a possible, but less likely, return as a Defensive Coordinator. Like many, I do believe Mangini could be successful if he changes his coaching methods. Unfortunately, I do not think this is the right time for Mangini to return nor is this the right franchise. Miami is in need of a coach that has the ability to coach up a rookie QB and resuscitate their offense. I wouldn't be completely down if he was hired, but I wouldn't exactly be thrilled either. Now that you have stayed with me for this long, let the comments fly. I'm sure the majority of them will be negative towards The Mangenius.