Niners tab Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator

The 49ers turned to a familiar face to run their defense.

San Francisco is hiring Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per a source informed of the team's plans. "The Mangenius" was the team's tight ends coach in 2014 and gets a three-year contract for his new role.

The hiring comes two days after Mangini sat down with the Oakland Raiders about their defensive play-calling vacancy.

The former Jets and Browns coach has spent the past two seasons with the 49ers learning the offense under former coach Jim Harbaugh. Before taking over the tight ends role, he served as a senior offensive consultant in 2013, despite growing up in the NFL as a defensive-minded coach under Bill Belichick in New England.

In San Francisco, he'll have many attractive pieces to work with. Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Antoine Bethea form the nucleus of one of the most talented defenses in the NFL. The Niners ran a 3-4 scheme under Vic Fangio, and are likely to stick with it; Mangini ran a 3-4 during his time with the Jets and Browns.

The 49ers also plan to hire current Raiders play-caller Jason Tarver as linebackers coach, but the newly hired Jim Tomsula still has work to do on the rest of his coaching roster. San Francisco still needs to find an offensive coordinator.

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