SANTA CLARA — It's four months removed from the 49ers' defeat in the Super Bowl, and NaVorro Bowman still can't watch.
Not a replay of the hour that preluded the eventual — yet painful — 3-point loss, nor even a highlight.
"I let it go," the Pro Bowl inside linebacker said Tuesday during the 49ers' final week of organized team activities. "It still haunts us. It's a game you hear you don't get back to a lot of times, but that's our goal. To get back."
But if there's something Bowman doesn't shy from, it's the sign he reads every day before stepping foot onto the practice gridiron.
"You either [are] getting better or getting worse, you never stay the same," recites Bowman. "And we wanna do the first thing."
So does his coach.
"What ways can we get better — we're trying to chase that," Jim Harbaugh said. "See if we can get a mile an hour faster."
And with hiring Eric Mangini — a defensive-minded former coach who two years ago traded the headset and sideline for an ESPN studio gig — as a senior offensive consultant, Harbaugh thinks his team will better.
"I feel like we've added a really talented, knowledgeable coach," Harbaugh said of Mangini, who previously was the head man with the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. "You look at how defenses prepare for us, and where we can attack defenses. That's what his role will be."
Mangini, a veteran of 14 years in the NFL whose two-year deal was officially announced Tuesday, got a phone call about two weeks ago while driving home from the ESPN studio. On the other line was Harbaugh, whom Mangini had seldom spoken to before, extending an invite and coaching offer.
"I missed it," Mangini said. "I missed the competition. I missed the strategy. I missed the guys. All of those elements."
The "evolving" roll will require Mangini, who only spent his first two years in the league on offense, to break down opposing defenses. The job sounded unusual, yet intriguing.
"I think that's going to make me a much better overall coach, because it gives you a totally different perspective," he said. "They're doing so many things right, I just want to find a way to complement it and help."
Though still mostly a stranger to San Francisco, there are a few familiarities. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy and recently signed safety Raymond Ventrone both played under Mangini during his Cleveland stint in 2010.
"He's brilliant," McCoy said. "It's good to see his face. He's been around the game for a long time, and he's got lots of knowledge."