With all the flack that Greg Mattison gets on this site, I thought it would be fun to ask the question, “What if the Ravens hired Eric Mangini as their Defensive Coordinator?” I mean, he was a Raven’s coach back in the day. He also showed some promise while on staff with the Pats. So I posed the question to Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog and here was his response.
It doesn’t take a lobotomized moron to tell you that Eric Mangini would be a bad fit for Baltimore. Apparently Matt couldn’t find a lobotomized moron, so he asked me instead.
Reason #1: Eric Will Try to Cut Ray Lewis (Before Ray **AHEM** Cuts Him) — Eric Mangini likes two things in his players: guys who don’t speak their minds to the press, and guys who don’t (allegedly) stab people. Eric Mangini has swallowed his ego once for the sake of a iconic star player and it didn’t go so well. I don’t think he’d do it again, even if it means taking a job at his football powerhouse Alma Mater, Wesleyan. Adding just one drop of Eric Mangini antimatter to the Ray Lewis Universe would cause utter chaos and ruination. I don’t it happening for that reason alone.
Reason #2: Are We Now Breaking What Don’t Need Fixing? — One of your best players is literally on fire … and there’s even a question to change it up? For Eric Mangini? Really? Football Outsiders ranked the Baltimore defense as fourth overall this year. Is fourth not good enough? Out of 32 teams, that’s pretty damn good. Why mess with that for a guy with a record like Mangini? Mangini’s team with the best overall level of talent (including his two seasons in Cleveland) was the 2008 New York Jets … which ranked a middling 14th. So in three years of implementing his defense with his hand-picked talent (only three defensive starters carried over to that unit from 2005 that he didn’t re-sign) and the best he ever got was 14th. Rex Ryan took basically the exact same (9 of 11 starters) unit the next year to first in the league, without his best lineman (Kris Jenkins) for most of the season.
Reason #3: His System Rewards Patience, Or So We’re Told — If Eric Mangini was ever given five years in a place, maybe we’ll done day see the fruits of his labors. But let’s face it, the NFL doesn’t work like that, and neither should Eric Mangini. Mangini’s scheme doesn’t reward an attacking style of play. It’s the read-and-react, bend-but-don’t-break model that he learned from his overlord in New England. It seems to fly in the face of the “blood dripping from your jaws” style of play that rules the AFC North. It plays avoids press coverage, it stress gap integrity … not that those things can’t be good things – they are – they’re just not the most important. They’re things that seem to fly in the face of what the Ed Reed / Ray Lewis / Haloti Ngata styled Ravens are all about. CAW!! CAW!!! Mount your battleravens! Attack! Attack!! Attack!!!
The Ravens play for real football, not that polite “you may fire when ready” BS that Grand Moff Mangini teaches.
While his system does stress turnovers, more often than not it’s better to just go three and out than to hope for a punched out ball after a ten play drive that ground your defense down to your own 30 yard line. Keep them rested, keep them safe.