Eric Mangini: Josh McDaniels will ‘have an impact’ on Saturday night against Denver
|01.13.12 at 12:57 am ET|
Former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini said Thursday that he doesn’t see the fact that Josh McDaniels jumped from St. Louis to New England in the postseason as a ‘huge issue,’ but says that the move will almost certainly ‘have an impact’ on Saturday’s divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Broncos.
‘I do think Josh can have an impact on this game this weekend. Not in terms of his knowledge of Tim Tebow, but more in terms of his knowledge of Denver’s defensive players, and the players in general,’ said Mangini, who is currently working as an analyst for ESPN. ‘Because as a coach, your whole job is to help players improve on their weaknesses. And to try to get them to play better based on trends, but more importantly to take care of those weaknesses.
‘In this situation, Josh can sit down with Tom (Brady) and say, ‘OK, these are the issues the guys in the secondary have. These are the issues the linebackers or defensive linemen have.’ That’s where I think his biggest impact is going to be.’
McDaniels, who was New England’s offensive coordinator from 2006 until 2008, became head coach in Denver the next year, and held that job for nearly two seasons. He was the Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2011, but was hired away by New England last week as an offensive assistant, and figures to take over as offensive coordinator in 2012 when Bill O’Brien becomes the head coach at Penn State.
‘(The Patriots) were signing Josh before they knew they were playing Denver, so it wasn’t exactly cause-and-effect there,’ Mangini said. ‘I think it’s a really good situation for New England. I don’t know if you’d ever have a situation like this in the future where a coach is going to be able to impact a game the way this has happened, this kind of coincidence.’
While there’s been a large outcry in Denver about the fact that the Patriots could hire the Broncos’ former head coach the week before they faced New England in a playoff game, fellow NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck said it’s a slippery slope if you start thinking about blocking movements of assistant coaches.
‘You have to be careful if you try to start to block coaching moves when teams fire their head coach, so that the assistants are kind of sitting there, as lame ducks, waiting for when their next opportunity is,’ Hasselbeck said. ‘If you’re closing doors down to hire assistants for teams that are still playing, I just think that’s a bad spot to be in as an assistant coach who was just coaching for a head coach who was fired.
‘I can see Denver being upset about it, and I agree with Eric in terms of the information,’ he added. ‘In some ways, it’s no different than talking to a quarterback that plays in the same division who faces somebody twice a year and saying, ‘Well, tell me what you think the best way to attack Champ Bailey is.’ And so I do think there’s knowledge there because of the familiarity with the players. But I don’t know that there’s really a right or fair way to start blocking coaches from moving from team to team at this point in the year.’