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Mangini named defensive coordinator

Replaces Romeo Crennel as Bill Belichick's defensive coordinator...

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots named Eric Mangini defensive coordinator today.

"I feel very fortunate to have been involved with such quality people every step of this process," said Eric Mangini. "Nick Saban is an outstanding coach and Romeo Crennel is one of the finest coaches and people I have ever met in my life. I am thrilled to be with the Patriots. The Kraft family and Bill Belichick have treated me tremendously. This team and our players are a special group and mean a great deal to me. I look forward to putting this process behind and focusing on our offseason and the new challenges ahead."

Mangini, 34, joined the Patriots when he was named the defensive backs coach on Coach Bill Belichick's staff on Feb. 1, 2000. Since then, he has contributed to a team effort that has produced 62 victories, including three Super Bowl titles in the last four years. It is the most prosperous period in the franchise's 45-year history. Over the past two seasons, the Patriots defense has been among the stingiest in the NFL and the secondary has played an integral role in its success. Last season, the defense surrendered just 16.3 points per game, tied for second in the NFL and ranked third in franchise history. In 2003, the defense limited opponents to a league-best and franchise-record low of 14.9 points per game. That season, New England's pass defense led the NFL in four key categories, including interceptions (29), fewest touchdown receptions allowed (11), opponents' passer rating (56.2) and pass deflections (121). The Patriots finished each of the past two seasons with 17 overall victories and won back-to-back Super Bowl championships.

Mangini's first NFL coaching opportunity came in 1995 as an assistant on Coach Belichick's staff in Cleveland. After a season in Baltimore (1996), he was re-united with Coach Belichick in New York as a defensive assistant with the Jets from 1997 to 1999. In 2000, he was one of the first assistants hired after Coach Belichick was named head coach of the New England Patriots.

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