It's all about offense for defensive-minded assistant Mangini
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SANTA CLARA -- Eric Mangini, the former NFL head coach with a defensive background, has spent his first two months with the 49ers getting to know the intricacies of Greg Roman's offense.

"Initially, it was getting him up to speed, but it doesn't take Eric long to really observe and we certainly tell him, 'Hey Eric, look at this, give me some feedback on that. What do you think?' And it's a really good interchange there amongst all our coaches," Roman said.

"(He is) just fitting into a great staff really well and we're excited to have him. We had a little offensive staff meeting the other day and we all said to him, 'We're really happy you're here and you're really going to help us.' And that's what we aim to do as a staff."

[REWIND: Mangini's mind for defense turns offensive]

Mangini was a defensive coach for Bill Belichick for six seasons with the New England Patriots, rising to defensive coordinator in 2005. He served as head coach of the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.

When asked what kind of responsibilities Mangini has on defense, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio answered, "None."

[REWIND: Mangini to provide unique perspective]

Mangini, who signed a two-year contract in early June, belongs solely to the offensive staff in his role as senior offensive consultant. Mangini has mostly been learning the 49ers' offensive terminology since his arrival. His main job this season is to help the offensive staff with game-planning through the lens of a defensive coach.

When the 49ers signed safety Craig Dahl, a 16-game starter with the St. Louis Rams last season, he told the coaching staff that the Rams figured out 49ers' play call tendencies based on personnel groupings and formations. Mangini will be responsible for the 49ers avoiding that kind of predictability.

Mangini's role will consist of picking up on those tendencies that defensive coaches will try to decode, as well as give the offensive coaches a better understanding of what schemes to expect from defenses.

It's a role similar to what Fangio performed for the Baltimore Ravens from 2006 to 2008.

"Generally speaking, I think defensive coaches have a better understanding of offenses and what offenses are being taught to do from a schematic standpoint," Fangio said. "I think offensive coaches do not have as good an understanding of defensive football.

"It's kind of a fact because I did that role one year in Baltimore and they learned a lot from having a defensive guy in the room. They just don't always understand the adjustments."


Fangio said there might be a time in the future when he gets a chance to sit down and talk extensively with Mangini about the defensive side, but that conversation has yet to occur.

"I'm sure over the course of the year we may have a discussion or two," Fangio said. "But he's got his hands full learning our offense so he can help our offense."