After NFL.com's Ian Rapoport confirmed over the weekend that Eric Mangini is back in the NFL as a senior offensive consultant for the San Francisco 49ers, the first question was obvious: After building his career on defense, why flip sides?
The second question deals with the future: Is Mangini gunning for another head-coaching job?
"That's definitely a goal of mine," Mangini said Tuesday, per Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "Right now, I'm doing what I can do here as well as I can do it. I think it's every coach's goal to eventually do that."
That brings us back to Question No. 1: Why offense? It's actually a masterful move, because Mangini will be used by Jim Harbaugh as a double-agent of sorts, helping the 49ers' attack stay one step ahead of defensive adjustments.
"I like the idea of working on offense," Mangini said. " ... I did that my first two years in the league, and I think that'll make me a lot better overall coach because it gives you a totally different perspective. If I go back to defense at some point, I'll be that much more rounded."
Another chance to steer an NFL ship will take time. Mangini initially was hailed as a boy wonder during parts of his 23-25 run with the New York Jets. He took them to the playoffs in 2006, but his next two seasons with Gang Green were rough sailing. After a 10-22 stint with the Cleveland Browns, Mangini was fired by then-team president Mike Holmgren.
In his two years away from the game, Mangini was a surprisingly insightful analyst for ESPN. Displaying his coaching versatility is wise, and joining forces with the 49ers' innovative coaching staff doesn't hurt. If Mangini helps the 49ers to prosper, he won't be a consultant for long.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.