Eric Mangini: TV and Radio Star?

Raise your hand if you miss The Mangenius?

Other than our old friend Pete over at Frowns nobody seemed to be all that upset that Mike Holmgren decided to go in a different direction after back to back 5-11 seasons down by the Lake front. Many in the media found him prickly to deal with, but as last season wore on, we saw a kinder, gentler Eric Mangini. Maybe he knew what his fate was going to be regardless of the outcome or maybe the fact that he could just be the coach, instead of a GM/coach/face of the franchise helped ease his stress level.

Regardless, with Mangini now free and clear, while getting paid handsomely for the next two years to do so, he has other pursuits. He has plenty of time to spend with his two young sons and still lives here in the area. The Mangini family truly loves living in the city of Cleveland. His wife Julie shares the same locale as her brother, Indians President Mark Shapiro, and as we all know, this is a great place to raise your kids.

On Mondays and Tuesdays Eric flies to Bristol, Connecticut and is all over the ESPN Family of networks. Its just a two day gig for him, and he is able to get right back to his family here in Cleveland.

I, for one, hadn’t had the chance to see or hear him earlier this year, but I happened to be in the car for two of his radio bits yesterday – one on Mike and Mike and the other with Colin Cowherd (who I cannot stand by the way). I have to tell you, I came away VERY impressed.

Nobody will ever say that Mangini was/is not a smart football mind. He did learn at the feet of the master, Bill Belichick. But as a radio and TV NFL analyst, that sharp mind really shines through. There were two instances that really showed how professionally he does his new job:

  • He was asked why people should be interested in the Miami/Dallas game on Thanksgiving day. Mangini responded by saying this will be an interesting chess match between Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He went on to say that these two worked together over the past two seasons and know each others tendencies well. Not once did he say “these coaches were my coordinators in Cleveland.” When asked if any coordinator in NFL history got more airtime than Rob Ryan, Mangini lauded how much Ryan cares about and truly loves his players. He said this is a guy that will run through a wall for him and the players respond to his enthusiasm greatly. Again, he never once mentioned that Ryan was his guy.
  • He was asked about how Miami coach Tony Sparano handles a locker room after starting 0-7 and knows he is essentially a dead man walking. Now these were two situations that Mangini had just been in. He started 1-11 in his first year in Cleveland (the only win was a 6-3 debacle in Buffalo) and his team responded by winning the last four games, playing hard all the way. Then last year, Mangini was a lame duck an everyone knew it, yet his team always played smart, tough football, especially on defense and special teams.  Again though, in his answer, he never said “you know, this situation is something that happened to me in Cleveland.” He just gave his answer and didn’t make it about himself.


Peter King of said in yesterday’s Monday Morning QB the following about Mangini – the radio and TV star:

Eric Mangini’s really good on TV. Smart. He distills complicated football concepts down to understandable terms. Jet fans would be surprised to hear this, but I find him likable on ESPN.

I have yet to see him on TV, but if he is anything like he is on the radio, then I’m on board. I for one am happy that Mangini has found a niche as an NFL analyst because I can honestly say that is something I never thought I would see or enjoy for that matter.

Kudos on a job well done, Eric.

photo via AP

  • Cleveland Frowns

    GREAT POST. But you should have linked to “Mangenius Interrupted.” Everybody google “Mangenius Interrupted.”

    Alright. I would just add re: this:

    “Maybe he knew what his fate was going to be regardless of the outcome or maybe the fact that he could just be the coach, instead of a GM/coach/face of the franchise helped ease his stress level.”

    Or maybe he was just continuing to grow and learn to relate to people as an extremely young and extremely talented NFL head football coach.

    “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”


  • Austin

    He’s great on ESPN first take, always giving good insight and is surprisingly funny and sarcastic.

  • RyInCBus

    You know that scene in Coming to America where they go to the benefit to see Randy Watson (Joe the Policeman from the “What’s Goin Down” episode of That’s My Momma) sing and then the one old man is standing up clapping at the end shouting “That boy good!” Yeah, its kinda like that.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I like him on TV. Everyone else on ESPN is trying to out-shout each other or say the most ridiculous thing possible to garner more attention (think Skip Bayless or Colin Cowherd). Mangini is sort of a quiet guy who just says his piece (usually insightful) and gets the hell out of the way.

  • saggy

    he is really really good on television. concise, smart, and usually on the money. he words his opinions with a hint of “genius-speak.” i mean, when it’s his turn to talk, i feel like i actually have a chance to learn something.

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    I also dislike Colin Cowheard. I enjoy Scott van Pelt though

  • Brendan

    Always been more of a Mark Schlereth guy myself.

  • Dan

    Mr. Randy Watson!!!!! Yes!!!!!

  • Ghost To Most

    Does Mangini say “National Football League” once every 30 seconds? That seems to be a requirement for ESPN analysts.

  • NJ

    I miss Mangini.

    This goes to show you how pointless NFL press conferences can be. During those, Mangini never said much and came off (imo) as rather inarticulate. Yet again, perception is not reality.

    Side note, there was talk earlier in the season that Mangini was “advising” the owner of the Dolphins. Not sure what that meant and (if I recall correctly) insiders said there really wasn’t anything more to that relationship than Mangini offering his opinions on some things.

    While I’m glad he is doing well as an analyst, I really hope he can get a job back on the sidelines. He deserves another shot in the NFL, maybe not as a hc right away, but at least as a coordinator.

  • Eric G

    RyInCBus – perfect description.


    I’m pretty sure the masses are still happy he’s gone, myself included.

  • oribiasi

    Can we all agree that Mark May is the worst ESPN personality?

    Also, Mangini never said he was being “genuine,” so he has that card on Shurmur to start with. Ha!

  • gren

    *Raises Hand*

    I love Mangini’s time on television. If ever you get the chance to (DVR or otherwise) his takes on First Take are always very informative. He breaks down plays and talks football without any one lines thrown in. C’mon man !

  • MrCleaveland

    Too bad he was such a lousy judge of talent. Mangini supports the adage, Those who can do, those who can’t become talking heads on ESPN.

  • Harv 21

    oribiasi: yeah, that “told you I’d be genuine” rant was odd. He won’t blurt stuff like that next year but weird stuff sometimes comes out of a freshman coach’s post-loss mouth.

  • jimkanicki

    @mr.clv-12: urban meyer and chris spielman disagree.

  • Josh Stein

    @orbiasi – Na’ah, I think Lou Holtszhchch is worse than May.

  • oribiasi

    @ Josh Stein: That’s low, man…so low, and so good. :)

    Aside: I’ve met Lou and he actually is a genuinely nice older gentleman.

  • oribiasi

    @ Harv 21: I agree, it is often that first year coaches don’t have much of a filter.

    I worry that due to his odd comments he will clam up indefinitely and that may not be good either. Let’s hope he doesn’t scare himself into silence.

  • Titus Pullo

    “Or maybe he was just continuing to grow and learn to relate to people as an extremely young and extremely talented NFL head football coach.”

    Agree on the extremely young part; but there is no metric known to mankind that supports a claim of Mangini being an extremely talented NFL head coach.

  • DonFelder

    I really came around to him in his second year and wish he were still coaching somewhere, if not here. But he’s been great on TV. Any idea where he lives in town? West side, east side? If I ever saw him around I’d buy him a beer.

  • Vengeful Pat

    Mangini – really good on TV. I’m sure that’s what everyone else has been saying as well, the guy doesn’t give you cliche responses… he gives real analysis, which is awesome. Too bad he didn’t find his true calling as a TV analyst earlier. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind him taking Gruden’s spot on MNF. I wouldn’t mind one darn bit.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    @18: Idiocy.

    One obvious metric is the fact that he beat the Pats/Saints last year and stayed competitive in all but two games against an extremely difficult schedule last season with essentially the same group (except actually significantly worse) that Shurmur can barely beat the very worst of the NFL with. Imagine if he had Taylor/Sheard/DQwell on that defense, too.

    Another metric is Mangini’s 18-9 career record coaching teams with semi-legitimate NFL QBs. Over 48 games in New York he was 10-6 with a healthy Chad Pennington and 8-3 with a healthy Brett Favre. The rest were with Kellen Clemens, DA, Quinn, etc. and a one-armed Favre.

  • Titus Pullo

    No excuses, remember Frowns?

    10-22 in Cleveland, 33-47 overall is all that counts in the NFL.

  • Bryan

    its always fun when frowns ventures into the WFNY comment section.

    i for one miss mangini. best coach, by far, the browns have had in long time. he is a good man, and i am glad he is doing good things.

    shurmur can’t hold his jock strap.

  • Josh Stein

    No, I really like Holtz, and I’d even think about hiring him for my team (even today, though as a caveat I would have to not care about NCAA violations, boom done, because I don’t) – but yeah, the voice is a little grating on da ESPN.

  • James

    I Miss Mangini…we should have given him more time…

  • Donald Altierre

    Excellent analysis of the end of the Denver/Chicago game. He is very much at ease breaking down plays and explaining the outcome. Time will tell but I believe he’ll be back coaching again. Wish it was different timing for the Browns gig, as he probably needed more time to mature as a HC.