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ESPN and Mangini Explain Why He'll Be On Your TV Talking Football

Yesterday it was reported by Phil Mushnick of The New York Post that former New York Jets coach Eric Mangini would be joining ESPN as an NFL analyst, an announcement that left most football fans underwhelmed. Mangini always exhibited the kind of blase sideline demeanor that infuriated his own team’s fans, so it seemed odd that ESPN wanted to harness that techni-boring personality, not least because he’d been fired twice and fingered as the source of SpyGate’s unraveling in New England. (Mangini used to be an assistant in New England and was aware of their taping practices, which he revealed to the league once he became the head coach in New York.)

But let’s look for the good instead, shall we? Obviously that’s the WWL’s approach, as they posted this press release that served to remind us (however briefly) that, whaddya know, Mangini actually has some highlights on his resume.

A head coach for the last five NFL seasons, Mangini coached the New York Jets from 2006-08 and more recently the Browns (2009-10). In his first season with the Jets, he led them to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth after the team finished 4-12 the previous year.

“Eric brings a wealth of knowledge from his experiences as an assistant and a head coach,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows. “Eric is one of the smartest football people I’ve ever been around. Adding him to our roster will enhance our ability to give viewers the best available analysis on the NFL from all angles.”

Mangini, who worked as an ESPN guest analyst during the 2010 NFL playoffs previewing the AFC Divisional Playoff matchup between the Jets and Patriots, added: “I am excited to join the ESPN team for the upcoming season. With my reputation for access and ease with the media, it seems like a natural fit. I am always impressed by how knowledgeable fans are and by their passion to learn more about their team, the league and the strategy of the game, and I hope to add meaningful insight.

“As for my new role, I have been preparing diligently, by picking out tribal tattoos for my lower leg and doing triple shots of espresso to match Herm Edwards’ energy level.”

A Rex Ryan reference, nice. That’s actually topical and funny. Can the Man-Genius maintain this pace? Can he meet these standards every day? Jets and Browns fans can probably answer that better than I can.

By the way, the release also says he’ll also be appearing on First Take. Skip Bayless and Eric Mangini possibly debating the day’s hot topics? That’ll be something.

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