Bill Belichick shunned Eric Mangini ten years ago. Mangini still hopes to be un-shunned.
Mangini said Saturday during his annual football camp that he hopes for a reconciliation with his mentor.
“I hope it’s something that can come back,” Mangini told Rich Cimini of ESPN. “Look, Bill is a big part of my life. Bill gave me a tremendous opportunity, and I enjoyed that experience, and I respect him. It’s disappointing, the way it’s been. Hopefully, it can change at some point.”
Although problems started when Mangini accepted an offer to become H.C. of the N.Y.J., the relationship became severed once the Jets instigated the Spygate scandal during Week One of the 2007 season.
“It was never supposed to go the way that it went,” Mangini said. “It was more about, ‘Hey, don’t do this here.’ It wasn’t about reporting it. Sometimes things get out of hand and get rolling in one direction. It was never, ever supposed to go that way.”
As the unofficial story goes, Mangini privately told Belichick not to record the Jets’ defensive coaching signals, since Mangini knew that Belichick had a habit of doing that. The theory is that then-G.M. Mike Tannenbaum caught wind of the practice and embarked on an effort to catch the Patriots with their camera in the cookie jar.
Mangini would later coach the Browns, and he has since worked as an assistant with the 49ers. Still 46, Mangini remains available. He recently joined PFT Live to promote the football camp, and to discuss a variety of NFL topics, including the importance of OTAs.