Greg Manusky

NFC Notes: Oher, Peppers, Redskins, Rams

Ron Rivera said earlier this month he expects Michael Oher to be back with the Panthers next season, but the recently re-signed left tackle has not yet been completely cleared from the concussion that sidelined him for most of the 2016 season, Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Oberserver reports. Oher missed 13 games last season and has dealt with concussion trouble for more than four months.

Rivera did not know when Oher suffered the concussion, but Jones reports the setback likely occurred before the Panthers’ Week 3 Vikings tilt — the most recent game in which Oher played. GM Dave Gettleman said recently he had not spoken to Oher in a bit and was going to give him some time. The Panthers’ left tackle signed a three-year extension last summer, but Gettleman said he plans to investigate the position this offseason. Mike Remmers is a free agent as well, and Carolina doesn’t have any much depth here, so an Oher return is crucial. He will turn 31 in May.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • A Julius Peppers-Panthers reunion makes sense for the 37-year-old North Carolinian as his career winds down, Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer writes. The outside linebacker who played as a 4-3 end in Carolina is a UFA. He spent four seasons with the Bears and three with the Packers, initially going to Chicago after the Panthers offered to make him the league’s highest-paid defender in 2010. The Panthers have ends Mario Addison and Charles Johnson looming as UFAs.
  • The Redskins‘ promotion of Aubrey Pleasant from assistant secondary coach to secondary coach has yet to be completed, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union notes. Washington’s talks with Pleasant are “at a standstill” after the team offered him the position, in a somewhat strange status for a defensive backs job. The Redskins still want to make Pleaseant its DBs boss after firing Perry Fewell. However, the Rams remain interested in Pleasant as well. Los Angeles already hired Samson Brown from the Broncos, but the former assistant secondary coach under Wade Phillips in Denver doesn’t appear to have a definitive role yet.
  • Regarding the top of the Redskins’ defensive hierarchy, one reason Joe Barry may have been ousted was due to some in the organization preferring he operate a more aggressive defense, John Keim of ESPN.com writes. However, a source told Keim he doesn’t consider new Washington DC Greg Manusky to be particularly aggressive. The newly promoted assistant promised to use an attacking style, though. Manusky’s Colts defenses did average more blitzes per season than Barry’s two in Washington did, Keim notes.
  • Should Pleasant join the Rams, he would be working with Don Shula’s grandson. The Rams plan to hire Chris Shula to work on Phillips’ defensive staff in Los Angeles, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Chris Shula worked as a Chargers quality control coach the past two seasons. Prior to that, he served as a college defensive assistant. Shula played college football with Sean McVay.

Redskins Promote Greg Manusky To DC

The Redskins will promote outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (via Twitter).

Dec 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Washington Redskins outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Washington fired former DC Joe Barry earlier this month, and the club compiled an extensive list of candidates to replace him, including Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, and John Pagano (the Redskins were denied permission to interview Romeo Crennel and Paul Guenther). PFR’s coordinator tracker provides the full complement of candidates.

Manusky, though, reportedly had the backing of Redskins players, and his familiarity with the organization may have helped him land the position.

He also brings a great deal of experience to the table, having served as defensive coordinator for three different teams, but that experience is largely a mixed bag. The 50-year-old Manusky got his feet wet as a linebackers coach for the Redskins in 2001, and he worked as the linebackers coach for the Chargers from 2002-06 before being hired as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator in 2007. The 49ers’ defense proved to be one of the best in the league in 2009, but it took a step back in 2010, and Manusky was allowed to seek another position following the hiring of head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Manusky returned to the Chargers as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2011, but he was fired after his unit finished as the league’s 22nd-ranked defense. Manusky was subsequently hired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator in 2012, and he spent four years in that role. The Colts made the playoffs in three of those four seasons, but Manusky’s defense finished in the top-10 in points allowed only once during his tenure. He was fired following the 2015 campaign, and he soon caught on as the Redskins’ outside linebackers coach.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee tweets that 49ers’ linebackers coach Jason Tarver, who was another candidate for the Redskins’ DC opening, could replace Manusky as the team’s OLB coach. Mike Jones of the Washington Post tweets that the team will keep Kirk Olivadotti as its ILB coach and would like to promote Aubrey Pleasant to DBs coach.

As Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets, it is fair to wonder whether the Redskins would have fired Barry at all if they had known they would have ended up with Manusky and his spotty DC resume as his replacement as opposed to their big name targets like Bradley and Wade Phillips.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Redskins, Vikings, Seahawks

The Cowboys defensive line struggled at times this past season, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the team would be searching for some reinforcement this offseason. Executive vice president Stephen Jones essentially confirmed that the team would be pursuing an edge rusher when appearing on Ben and Skin on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan (via DallasNews.com):

“There’s no question. That’s why we always have to continue to be better. We haven’t done a good job of that. We’ve tried in several different ways to make that happen. But as we sit here today, we don’t have that player. We saw glimpses of that with Randy Gregory, but that’s a huge question mark as to when he might be able to come back and be a football player in the NFL. Getting his life off the field in the right order is the most important thing. But in the mean time, there’s no question what our needs are. The focus is gonna be on defense.

“You don’t ever shut your eye to a player who can help improve you on the offensive side of the ball either. We showed that last year when everybody knew how bad we needed defense and we obviously picked Zeke. Had the right rationale for it. I don’t think anything could have gone more according to plan than picking Zeke. I don’t think you ever rule out anything. That’s how you make huge mistakes. But I think it’s obvious to anyone who watches our football team that the defensive side of the football, especially our front seven, is where we need the most improvement.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Redskins‘ search for a defensive coordinator will be entering a third week, and one player believes the wait is a positive sign for outside linebackers coach (and candidate) Greg Manusky. ESPN.com’s John Keim writes that the former Colts defensive coordinator has the support of the Redskins players, and he notes that the front office may appreciate the continuity and Manusky’s familiarity with the organization.
  • Keim writes that the Redskins want to hang on to assistant defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, noting that Sean McVay has had interest in bringing his former co-worker to the Rams. Pleasant played a significant role in helping former wideout Quinton Dunbar transition to a defensive back.
  • UCLA has hired Vikings assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley as their new offensive line coach, reports Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports (via Twitter). The former NFL lineman had spent the past three seasons in Minnesota, and he previously coached at the University of San Diego and San Jose State.
  • The Seahawks worked out a trio of players yesterday, according to Howard Balzer on Twitter: offensive linemen Pierce Burton and Tayo Fabuluje and defensive end B.J. McBryde. Fabuluje, a former sixth-round pick, played four game for the Bears in 2015. Burton and McBryde have yet to play in an NFL game.

Redskins To Interview Greg Manusky For DC Job

Add another name to the growing list of Redskins defensive coordinator candidates. ESPN.com’s John Keim reports that the team will interview outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for the vacancy. The position opened up when the team fired former defensive coordinator Joe Barry in early January.

Greg Manusky (featured)Manusky certainly has the experience, as the 50-year-old has served as defensive coordinator for three different teams. The former player got his first coaching gig with the Redskins and Chargers in the early-2000’s, and he was hired as the 49ers defensive coordinator in 2007. During Manusky’s four seasons in San Francisco, the 49ers defense turned into one of the most feared units in the league. The squad struggled during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, but the 2009 defense proved to be one of the best in the league. The defense took a step back in 2010, and Manusky was allowed to seek another gig following the hiring of head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Manusky ultimately returned to San Diego for the 2011 season as the team’s defensive coordinator. His defense ultimately allowed 377 points, which was good for only 22nd in the league. Following the campaign, the coach was fired. Manusky was subsequently hired as the Colts defensive coordinator in 2012, and he spent four years in the position. The team made the playoffs in three of those seasons, but Manusky’s defense only finished in the top-10 for points allowed once during his tenure. The coordinator was fired following the 2015 season, and he soon caught on as the Redskins outside linebackers coach.

As our coordinator tracker shows, the Redskins have a number of candidates for the opening, including former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, former Browns head coach Mike Pettine, former Bills defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and 49ers linebackers coach Jason Tarver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coach Rumors: Ragone, Titans, Manusky, Giants

While the 49ers have been making the most news today in forming their new coaching staff under Chip Kelly, here is the latest from around the league, starting in Chicago.

  • The Bears hired former Texans quarterback and Titans quarterback coach Dave Ragone as their new quarterback coach, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Bears wide receiver coach Mike Groh was also considered for the job, Rich Campbell of Chicago Tribune tweets. The 36-year-old Ragone worked with new Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, Chicago’s previous QBs coach who was promoted last week, with the Titans. Ragone coached the Titans’ quarterbacks in 2013 and instructed their wideouts during the previous two seasons. He spent this past season as an offensive quality control coach in Washington. Prior to that, he began his coaching career guiding Josh McCown with the Hartford Colonels of the now-defunct United Football League.
  • Longtime offensive line coach Russ Grimm will head to Nashville to become the Titans‘ offensive line coach, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tweets. Grimm hasn’t coached since 2012, which was his final year of a six-season stay with the Cardinals. The 56-year-old Grimm, a Hall of Fame Washington guard, began his coaching career as Washington’s tight ends coach in 1992, a year after retiring before beginning as the team’s line coach in 1997. Grimm crossed paths with Titans HC Mike Mularkey during his time in Pittsburgh (2001-06), where Mularkey served as the offensive coordinator from 2001-03.
  • New Browns DC Ray Horton planned to hire ex-Browns defensive lineman Nick Eason for his defensive staff, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports (on Twitter), but the Titans promoting him from assistant defensive line coach to defensive line coach convinced him to stay in Tennessee.
  • The Giants hired former Eagles outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern to be their linebackers coach, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). McGovern spent 23 years coaching at various colleges in the northeast before teaching the outside backers with the Eagles under Kelly the past three seasons.
  • Washington hired another former player and longtime coach to preside over its outside linebackers, adding Greg Manusky to its staff, Andrew Walker reports on the team’s website. Manusky began his career in Washington, but only coached there in 2001. The 49-year-old former linebacker served as defensive coordinator for the Colts from 2012-15 before being fired earlier this month. He was previously the DC for the 49ers and Chargers for a combined five seasons.
  • Former Panthers and Bears safety Chris Harris will serve as the Chargers‘ assistant defensive backs coach, Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk reports. Harris worked as a quality control coach with the Bears in 2013-14 and played for the Panthers toward the end of current Chargers HC Mike McCoy‘s lengthy stay in Charlotte. Harris replaces Greg Williams, whom the Colts recently hired as their DBs coach.

Coach Rumors: Shula, Lynn, 49ers, Manusky

It was widely reported during the week leading up to the NFL’s Wild Card games this month that Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula wasn’t interested in interviewing for any head coaching jobs while Carolina remained alive in the playoffs. However, speaking to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, Shula says he’s not sure where that perception came from.

“All I said (to the media) was I’m focused on the playoffs,” Shula said. “The other quote was if it did happen, if I was approached, I’d have to consider that at the time. Those were my only quotes … Somebody said I had an agent out there talking, too. I don’t have an agent. I have a friend that helps me, but he definitely wasn’t that person … I don’t know where that (report) came from.”

It’s somewhat odd that Shula would clarify his stance now, after all the vacant head coaching positions have been filled, rather than earlier in the interview process. Those reports suggesting he was reluctant to interview for other jobs while preparing for Panthers playoff games didn’t materialize out of thin air, so even if Shula claims he would have been open to opportunities, I’d imagine he’s happy to remain in his current role.

Here are a few more coaching-related updates from around the NFL:

  • Bills running backs coach and assistant head coach Anthony Lynn is interviewing for the 49ers‘ offensive coordinator job, a source tells Marvez (Twitter link). Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that the interview is scheduled to take place on Thursday. Lynn previously met with the Niners during the team’s head coaching search.
  • Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com provides another update on the 49ers, tweeting that Chip Kelly is interested in finding a spot on his staff for Jeff Nixon, who spent five years as the Dolphins’ running backs coach.
  • According to Marvez (Twitter link), Washington is set to hire Greg Manusky – who was the Colts’ defensive coordinator up until the end of the 2015 season – as the club’s outside linebackers coach. However, Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter link) and ESPN’s John Keim hear there’s no deal in place yet, though they both say Washington has interest in Manusky, with Keim confirming the team interviewed him.
  • The Titans have one more defensive line coach interview taking place today before making a decision on the position, tweets Marvez. Former Giants assistant Robert Nunn is one candidate for the job.

Colts Fire DC Greg Manusky

The Colts have fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Colts Sign Coach Chuck Pagano, GM Ryan Grigson To Extensions]Greg Manusky (featured)

Manusky, at one time, was considered to be a potential head coaching candidate if the team ever fired head coach Chuck Pagano. As it turns out, the Colts’ defense struggled in 2015 and owner Jim Irsay actually decided to give Pagano a four-year extension on Monday night. Manusky will now be seeking a new job for 2016, but it’s not immediately clear if he’ll be able to land another DC gig.

Manusky, Rapoport tweets, was running Pagano’s scheme without many playmakers to work with. Now, it will be interesting to see what kind of hire Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson will make. Manusky joined the staff in 2012, around the same time of Pagano’s hiring. He previously spent time as defensive coordinator with the Chargers and 49ers. The Colts finished 27th in total yards per game (379.1) and 25th in points per game allowed (25.5) in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Dolphins, Pagano, Texans

A report this weekend indicated that Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley is expected to receive consideration in the offseason for the Dolphins‘ head coaching job. However, asked if there’s any truth to those Haley rumors, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) replied, “None.”

It isn’t the first time that Salguero has shot down a Dolphins-related report from La Canfora — during the 2014 offseason, La Canfora reported that the club was exploring trades involving players like Mike Wallace and Dion Jordan, which Salguero’s sources emphatically denied. It’s not entirely clear if the team was indeed considering deals back then, but the Dolphins ultimately traded Wallace a year later, and probably wish they had moved Jordan as well.

In this case, the performance of the Dolphins and interim coach Dan Campbell down the stretch will play a significant role in what candidates Miami considers after the season — if the club continues to look as good as it has in Campbell’s first two games, it’s hard not to imagine the team hiring him on a full-time basis.

Here are a few more coaching notes and rumors from around the NFL:

  • While Chuck Pagano‘s job in Indianapolis isn’t totally safe, it’s highly unlikely that the Colts will make a change this week, tweets Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star is skeptical that firing Pagano is the answer to turning things around for the Colts.
  • If the Colts do decide to make an in-season change, that move is most likely to happen during the club’s Week 10 bye, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Cole identifies offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski, and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen as the four in-house candidates to replace Pagano.
  • In the wake of Monday’s report that head coach Bill O’Brien and general manager Rick Smith disagreed on whether Ryan Mallett should be cut, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk examines the Texans‘ organizational structure, suggesting that it will likely continue to cause problems. In Smith’s view, it may be time for either the head coach or GM – or both – to go. For what it’s worth, following Mallett’s release today, Tania Ganguil of ESPN.com tweeted that Rick Smith was always on board with the decision, but disagreed about the timing of the move, which would’ve left the team with just one active veteran quarterback.
  • The Lions‘ firing of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi should officially put head coach Jim Caldwell on notice, writes Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
  • The Eagles are almost certainly giving DeMarco Murray more playing time than Ryan Mathews because of the difference between the two players’ contracts and guaranteed money, and that’s just one example of how Chip Kelly‘s moves as a GM are hampering him as a head coach, says Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Michael Reghi, Bud Shaw, Dan Labbe, and Chris Fedor of the Northeast Ohio Media Group debate whether Browns head coach Mike Pettine should be on the hot seat in Cleveland.

Colts Notes: Hamilton, Bailey, Bowen

Every time Andrew Luck turns around and hands the ball off to a running back, Colts’ fans take to the internet to demand that offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s job. Trent Richardson‘s struggles and the team’s 0-2 start to the season only added to the anti-Hamilton bandwagon. Mike Freeman of ESPN thinks that after the Colts put a huge number on the board against the lowly Jaguars, Hamilton’s job is safe. The team is ranked in the top three in the league in total yards, passing yards, and points per game. Here are some other notes from the Colts:

  • In the mailbag, Freeman writes that Champ Bailey is not an option at safety due to his declined play at 36 years old. He also addresses the team’s decision to keep Khaled Holmes out of the starting lineup despite being healthy, in order to keep continuity with that unit.
  • One of the biggest surprises of the season so far has been the effectiveness of a much maligned offensive line for the team, wrote Kevin Bowen of Colts.com earlier this week. Rather than being a weakness, Bowen sees them as being among the NFL’s best through three weeks.
  • Bowen also compiled some quotes from both coordinators, Hamilton and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, as well as an injury report going into this weekend’s matchup against the Titans.
  • Finally from Bowen, he grabbed a number of quotes from head coach Chuck Pagano regarding the rotation at running back, the offensive line, and many other topics.