Tag:Eric Mangini
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 5:31 pm
 

Who will replace Todd Haley in Kansas City?

By Will Brinson

As is tradition, when an NFL coach is "relieved of his duties," like Todd Haley was on Monday, we'll plow through a list of potential candidates to replace said coach.

The Chiefs search is a little different though, because it's widely assumed that Scott Pioli will chase a "Patriots Guy," which is someone with, duh, connections to the Bill Belichick coaching tree. The success of the next Chiefs coach will likely determine whether or not Pioli continues at the helm of the Chiefs, and thus it would be surprising to see him go in a different direction and hire someone he wasn't truly confident could succeed.

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Romeo Crennel

Crennel's going to be running the team for the final three games of the 2011 season, and it's possible that Scott Pioli would be comfortable with Crennel as the full-time coach going forward. After all, Romeo was the defensive coordinator for championship-caliber teams in New England when Pioli was working for the Patriots, and Crennel's got head-coaching experience with the Browns. That wasn't the most successful tenure, but, hey, neither was Bill Belichick's first gig in Cleveland either.

Josh McDaniels

McDaniels was canned in Denver and took over as Offensive Coordinator for the Rams this past season. His star has fallen mightily from the 6-0 start with the Broncos in 2009 to the 2-10 effort the Rams have put forth so far in 2011 and the regression St. Louis has shown on offense. McDaniels real downfall in Denver, though, was his personnel decisions (although you could argue he made some smart calls after all) and he wouldn't have to worry about that in KC. At the very least, he'll warrant strong consideration as offensive coordinator for his old boss Pioli. (Added bonus: Haley hates him!)

Kirk Ferentz

My buddy Nathan and I have a running joke about how Ferentz is the hottest coaching candidate on the planet every year (seriously: his name gets dropped into every single coaching search at every single level of football)  but never even considers leaving Iowa. This is actually one gig that could truly entice him to make the jump to the NFL, though, as he and Pioli go way back to the early 90's when they worked together in Cleveland and Baltimore. Plus, you never know -- he could be the AFC's version of Jim Harbaugh!

Jeff Fisher

Fisher's going to be one of the hotter names in most coaching searches this offseason, because of all the success he had in Tennessee, and the fact that he ultimately just left because he and Bud Adams couldn't really agree on Vince Young. Or something. The Chiefs have a lot of cap room and their roster actually resembles the construction of his Titans teams the last few years he was there.

Bill Cowher

Little-known fact about all NFL coaching searches: you must include Cowher's name or else it's not complete. Also, Cowher coached in Kansas City for two years and apparently loves it there. So I'm changing my tune from earlier when I didn't include Cowher. I still don't think he's the answer here, though, because Pioli isn't going to just hand over a pile of player-personnel power to Cowher and it's widely believed that's something he'll require.

Rob Ryan

Ryan's refusal to cut his hair and stop running his mouth prior to games has hurt his reputation as a strong candidate to succeed at the head-coaching level, but he's done good work with the Cowboys defense this season and his track record as a defensive coach is pretty damn impressive. He also worked for the Patriots (linebackers coach for three years) and given how much Rex Ryan's succeeded in New York, it's hard to ignore the possibility of success by the other sibling. On the other hand, given the tenuous nature of Pioli's relationship with the fiery Todd Haley, he may want to avoid a big personality with this hire.

Brian Daboll

Daboll was brought to the Dolphins in 2011 to revamp the Fins offense, and while Miami isn't the most high-powered offense in the NFL, the rejuvenation of Reggie Bush and the late-season success of Matt Moore is impressive. Daboll's offenses haven't ever finished in the top half of the NFL -- he was quarterbacks coach of the Jets in 2007 and 2008 and offensive coordinator of the Browns in 2009 and 2010 -- but he hasn't exactly been working with the same personnel you might find on the 1999 Rams or anything. No head coaching experience probably makes this a dealbreaker, but he could warrant consideration as an assistant.

Eric Mangini

But, no, seriously. Mangini's been known to have interest in returning to the NFL and as recently the past month he's been rumored as someone who might come in as a consultant for various teams. He's currently working for ESPN (and is actually doing a fantastic job, in my humble opinion), and may have burned bridges with comments he made about the Patriots while working as the Jets head coach. But people forget he did a pretty good job there of rebuilding the Gang Green before struggling in a rebuild job in Cleveland.

Pat Hill

Hill, the recently-fired Fresno State coach, is a bit of a darkhorse, especially since "getting fired by a non-BCS school where you've been since 1997" isn't usually the career step taken before "getting hired to take over an NFL team." But again, he's part of the Belichick tree, so it's impossible to count him out completely.

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Posted on: November 5, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 9:15 am
 

Bradshaw, Nicks ruled out for Patriots game

The last time the Giants and Pats met in a meaningful game this happened. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Sunday, the Giants and Patriots will meet for the first time since Super Bowl XLII which, at the time, was known as New England's coronation to perfection. Instead, thanks in part to David Tyree's head and Plaxico Burress' hands, the upstart Giants upended the Pats.

In the 46 months since, neither team has won a postseason game. When they take the field Sunday, however, both will be atop (or tied atop) their respective divisions.

After watching the Steelers summarily dismantle the Patriots' secondary last week, the Giants might have similar plans. Except now they'll have to do it without two of their best offensive players. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks have been ruled out.

That still leaves Eli Manning with plenty of weapons, perhaps the most inviting being New England's secondary. The Giants have the NFL's fifth-best offense, according to Football Outsiders' efficiency metrics and the Pats are the 27th-ranked defense.

The biggest matchup might come on the other side of the ball: New York's D vs. Tom Brady. Former Pats defensive coordinator and Jets head coach Eric Mangini, now an NFL analyst, spoke this week about whether New York can replicate what Pittsburgh did to slow Brady and New England's passing game.

"On defense [The Steelers] did a real good job in passing situations in getting Tom off his spot, and not letting him be comfortable right behind center where he likes to stand," Mangini told the New York Daily News Thursday.

"The Giants have a unique situation where they can generate a pass rush with their down guys and do it really well, and that's going to help. But that pressure has to come up the middle. And the other thing is: If you don't have tight coverage on the receivers, he'll just hit those guys short."

Not quite a ringing endorsement but New York has beaten New England under tougher conditions and facing longer odds (see, for example, 62 Y Sail Union).

UPDATE - 11/6/11:
In other Giants personnel news, center David Bass has also been ruled out, while defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will play, according to CBS' Charley Casserly, who also reports that 2010 first-round pick CB Prince Amukamara will be out. Wideout Ramses Barden has been activated to the 53-man roster and could be used in three-wide receiver sets.


After a disappointing loss last week over the Steelers, the New England Patriots hope to rebound as they prepare to host the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan as they break down this game.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Shaun Smith vs. Mack remind us of painful days

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Shaun Smith has been called many names throughout his playing career. He’s been called a loafer, a trash-talker and he’s been called the Hamburglar (you can see why in this piece).

But one thing he’ll insist that he’s not: that is a nutcracker.

That was the accusation made last year by Browns center Alex Mack and 49ers tackle Anthony Davis in back-to-back weeks when they said Smith grabbed … well … um … you see … OK …  their junk (you can see the latter incident in the video below).

"I don't think he should be able to do that," Mack said at the time. "I'm still fired up about it."

And the next week, Davis had this reaction: “He tried to feel me. That’s weird, right?”

Not weird enough, apparently, to pay a fine or be disciplined in any way whatsoever, and now that Smith and the Titans will face Mack and the Browns in Cleveland, the subject of how testy Smith plays has returned.

“You can’t believe everything you hear,” Smith told the Tennessean. “The league sorted it all out -- no fine.”

Grabbing dudes wasn’t the only nefarious activity in which Smith allegedly participated during his Browns career. He supposedly punched teammate Brady Quinn in the face, and less than a year later, he was released by coach Eric Mangini after getting into an altercation with Bryan Cox at practice.

But for Smith these days, everything is cool.

“I was a little bitter when they let me go because of the situation with the new regime, but I look at everything as funny now because (Mangini), and the situation with Brady Quinn, they aren’t there any more either,” Smith said. “So to me, I got the best of it. I got the last laugh at the end of the day.”



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Posted on: September 13, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Mangini talks about Belichick, Spygate regrets

Eric Mangini has 'a lot of regrets' about the whole Spygate thing. We suspect Bill Belichick does too. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Eric Mangini owes much of his professional success to Bill Belichick, dating back to the mid '90s when the former was a ball boy in Cleveland and the latter was a coach. In 2000, Belichick hired Mangini as a defensive backs coach in New England. In February 2005, as the Patriots were preparing to face the Eagles in the Super Bowl (their third trip since the 2001 season), the New York Daily News profiled Mangini's ascension up the coaching ranks.

"As defensive backs coach for the Patriots this year, Mangini oversaw the rebuilding and fortification of a decimated secondary, using spare parts," the Daily News' Hank Gola noted. "With Romeo Crennel expected to leave after Super Bowl XXXIX to take a long-awaited head coaching job with the Browns, Mangini is the odds-on candidate to take over as defensive coordinator. That's if there isn't a bidding war for his services.

"Know this, however: When the Raiders offered him their coordinator's job last season, he turned it down to stay on Belichick's staff.

"'It just wasn't the right time personally or professionally for the opportunity,' the baby-faced 34-year-old said. 'I was really happy where I was and I thought it was the best decision for my family and myself. I've really enjoyed where I am. I love the organization and being part of it.'"

Mangini was promoted to defensive coordinator a few weeks after the Super Bowl, and in 2006, he took the Jets head coaching job. That's where things took a turn for the worse. During the 2007 Week 1 matchup against the Patriots, Mangini accused Belichick of videotaping the Jets' defensive signals, the league investigated, and eventually fined Belichick $500,000, the Patriots $250,000, and took their 2008 first-round pick for good measure.

Needless to say, things were a little awkward between Belichick and Mangini after that.

Mangini was fired by the Jets in 2008, and lasted just two seasons in Cleveland before landing a gig as an ESPN analyst.  During a radio interview Tuesday with Boston radio's WEEI, Mangini talked about Spygate and his relationship with Belichick.

"It's one of those things where the end result wasn't the goal," Mangini said of the scandal. "I owe so much to Bill, I appreciate what he's done for me and my intention was never to hurt him or the [Patriots] organization, the Kraft family. Yeah, there's a lot of regrets, I didn't want to hurt him or the Patriots by any stretch."

Sounds nice, but we imagine Belichick has a tough time buying that given the way things played out back in '07. As for how things are between the two, Mangini said, "Probably like the New England defense, it's a work in progress."

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Gholston: Rex didn't give him a chance with Jets

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets and coach Rex Ryan didn't take long to move on from 2008 draft bust Vernon Gholston, who was released shortly before the NFL lockout began, way back when at the end of February.

Since then, Ryan has even publicly blamed himself for Gholston's failure to really grow into a legit player and/or just unlock the easy-as-pie $9 million escalator clause in his contract. Gholston apparently feels the same way -- that it's Rex's fault.

"I heard how he was perceiving me before the [2008] draft, before he knew me, and I was the same way -- I wasn't hoping for him to be [my] first coach of the Jets when I was there, either," Gholston told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post recently.

Hubbuch notes that Gholston, who was drafted by Eric Mangini's regime, "still feels he didn't get a fair shot with Ryan" or the current Jets coaching staff.

"Being a first-round pick, you would have hoped for more [of a chance]," said Gholston.

The defensive end, who was signed by Chicago this offseason, apparently believes that Ryan's preconceived notions about Gholston as a player are the reason he never got a fair shake of things.

"Rex made a comment to me when he first came in that he thought I wasn't liked by the guys on the team, then once he got there he saw that wasn't the case," Gholston said. "Those perceptions kind of determine the outcome, and it's sad to say."

Oh yes, and Ryan's bias towards Ravens players.

"Whenever you have a new coach, you hope everything's fair," Gholston said. "But obviously, he was in Baltimore for a number of years and has a passion for those guys."

Look, the long-and-short of it is that Gholston's just a bust. Period. The Jets used the No. 6 overall pick in the 2008 draft on him, and in three years, playing as a defensive end who was supposed to beef up their pass rush, he never recorded a single sack.

Or an interception. Or a forced fumble. Or a ... you know what? You don't need me to write this out for you. If you're on Gholston's side of things and you actually think he might not be a bust, well, you can just as easily find out about Gholston's career from our good friend and debate-ending champion Google:



/slams mic
//walks away

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Colquitt: Haley mad at McDaniels for cheating



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Todd Haley has been known for his short temper long before he landed the Chiefs' head coaching gig. Five years ago, when Haley was a wide receivers coach with the Cowboys, he and Terrell Owens had a falling out that ended with Owens stating that the two would have "no other dialogue" after Haley berated him for being late to a team meeting.

And then, in January 2009 when Haley was the Cardinals offensive coordinator, he got into it on the sidelines with receiver Anquan Boldin.

We mention this because last season, when the Broncos defeated the Chiefs, Haley refused to shake hands with then-Denver coach Josh McDaniels and instead decided to give him a finger-wagging lecture right there at midfield.


Haley later apologized saying, "I do believe in doing what's right and and that was not right. I probably let the emotions of the situation get to me too much and I apologize to the fans and to Denver and to Josh."

Well, on Wednesday, Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt appeared on the "Vic and Gary" show on 102.3 the Fan in Denver and he had some thoughts on why, exactly, Haley wasn't particularly happy with McDaniels.

“I don’t know if I can answer that within the locker room, but I know that it has something to do with the Spygate, the videotaping,” Colquitt said, according to PFT. “All the stuff like that. And I think that Haley was like, ‘Listen, based on that game I can tell what you are doing, and you are cheating.’ . . .

“I think it was just a culmination of rumors and [McDaniels] had been involved in that in New England possibly before, and so Todd was just kind of saying, ‘Look, with the game plan we had and what you guys already knew we were gonna do, this is’ . . . basically saying it was ‘bush, bush league.’”

So there you have it. According to Colquitt, Haley was miffed because he thought McDaniels, who came to Denver from New England, was cheating. We eagerly await Eric Mangini's thoughts on the matter.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cleveland Browns

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



Another year turned into another rebuilding season for the Browns (it turned out to be the last of three in Eric Mangini’s tenure). Injuries rocked all three mistake-prone quarterbacks (Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and third-round rookie Colt McCoy, who performed OK but was limited to a cliff-noted playbook).

It maybe wouldn’t have mattered anyway, given the paucity of quality receiving options (No. 1 wideout Mohammad Massaquoi improved just enough to pass for being a low-end No. 2, while tight end Ben Watson was the go-to guy by default).

Defensively, the young secondary at times seemed overburdened by the volume of sub-packages in Rob Ryan’s complex system. But often, Ryan’s scheme compensated for shabby pass-rushing resources. The Browns were the only team not to give up 30 points in any of their first 15 games. Still, that wasn’t enough to save Ryan from the coaching staff overhaul in January.




Defensive scheme

The task of installing a 4-3 scheme is substantial, especially given this team’s prior commitment to the 3-4.

Linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita and nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin (who will now play more one-gap techniques) are the only players from last year’s team who are truly equipped to operate in a 4-3.

And Gocong never did blossom in Philadelphia’s 4-3. Restocking the defensive line will be the biggest challenge.




1. Defensive End
Marcus Benard is a fantastic athlete who, as an outside linebacker, often played bigger than his 256-pound size suggested. That doesn’t mean the undrafted third-year pro is ready to start – especially given that he’ll be learning how to play with his hand in the dirt. Jayme Mitchell, another undrafted guy, is penciled in on the other side. What does this tell you? The Browns need at least three, and maybe four, defensive ends.

2. Defensive Tackle
Rubin can be an adequate two-down player, even if he’s not a true Pat Williams-like clogger. Brian Schaefering, however, does not get off blocks well enough to play inside. Even if he did, the Browns would still need more one-gap quickness here.

3. Wide Receiver
Very few quarterbacks could succeed with Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Joshua Cribbs as their top four wideouts. Massaquoi is not dynamic enough to create on his own; Robiskie has barely seen the field his first two seasons; Stuckey’s quickness is impressive but best suited for the slot, while Cribbs is simply a gadget player.




Let’s hope new head coach Pat Shurmur is a patient man. The defense that Dick Jauron is installing is not complicated schematically, but it will take at least two years to accumulate the front seven personnel needed to run it.

That’s about how long the offense will take to develop if Shurmur decides that Colt McCoy is indeed the long-term solution for his West Coast system. A third straight 5-11 season seems likely.

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 9:07 am
 

Ryan: Gholston improved but others did better

Gholston Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One of the biggest – or, at least, most highly-publicized – draft busts in the past few years was Jets DE Vernon Gholston’s inability to turn his talent into anything resembling even a journeyman career in the NFL.

As ESPN.com’s Tim Graham points out, Gholston, a No. 6 pick in 2008, started only five games in his career and recorded exactly zero sacks. In fact, we wrote about it in Hot Routes last month when it was discovered he could have unlocked a $9 million escalator bonus by simply recording a sack, a fumble recovery or a forced fumble. He didn’t, of course.

All along, Jets coach Rex Ryan thought if anybody could develop Gholston, he could be the coach to do it. When talking with Graham a few weeks ago, Ryan apparently got a little defensive talking about the fact he couldn’t mold Gholston into the player Ryan wanted him to be.

To be fair, Gholston was a 4-3 DE at Ohio State but then moved to the 3-4 LB position under former Jets coach Eric Mangini before moving to the 3-4 DE spot in Ryan’s defense. So, yeah, he moved around a little bit. But still …

"I think Vernon improved," Ryan told Graham. "Last year, I thought he gained strides. Unfortunately, I never knew this when we picked up Trevor (Price) and he played well for us, but that took a little away from Vernon. We had Shaun Ellis, so it was kind of hard to get [Gholston] more reps.

"But the guy is an excellent teammate. He did what was asked and he got better.”

Graham then asked if Ryan had failed with Gholston.

"Well, then I failed as far as the numbers go," Ryan said. "But I thought he got better, though. We'll see what happens to him. He's not done playing.

"I think I've had a long list of guys I've developed in my coaching career. Some guys develop faster than others. But I'll put how I coach up against anybody in this league when it comes to defense and technique."

Gholston likely will get another chance in the league. But obviously it remains to be seen if someone other than Ryan can unlock the talent that apparently lies in Gholston’s body.

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