Current Redskins outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky has to be considered one of the favorites to land the just-opened defensive coordinator job. For one thing, he’s in the building and that is always a plus for your chances. In addition, he was a defensive coordinator for nine seasons with the 49ers, Chargers, and Colts.
The coordinator experience leaves a significant paper trail. Let’s take a look at his resume and see how his qualifications stack up.
Before coaching: Manusky made the Redskins as an undrafted free agent out of Colgate. In three years with the Redskins he played in 39 games, starting 15 at middle linebacker. After that he played for the Vikings and Chiefs for a combined nine seasons. Manusky was mostly a reserve and special teams player; after leaving Washington he started just six more games.
Before becoming a coordinator: He was the Redskins’ linebackers coach under Marty Schottenheimer in 2001 and then he coached the Chargers’ linebackers for five years before becoming the 49ers’ defensive coordinator in 2007.
For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro
Record as defensive coordinator:
2007 49ers (5-11)
Rankings: Yards 5,539 (25th), points 364 (20th), DVOA 6.3% (24th)
Notable players: ILB Patrick Willis*+, CB Nate Clements
Manusky’s defense got almost no help from the 49ers offense, which ranked last in both yards and points. They scored over 20 points just twice all year. Patrick Willis was named a first-team All-Pro as a rookie.
2008 49ers (7-9)
Rankings: Yards 5,216 (13th), points (381 (23rd), DVOA 3.6% (18th)
Notable players: LB Willis*, DE Justin Smith
The 49ers improved to seven wins even with Shaun Hill and J.T. O’Sullivan at quarterback. The defense held the opposition to 20 points or fewer six times.
2009 49ers (8-8)
Rankings: Yards 5,222 (15th), points 281 (4th), DVOA -14.0% (5th)
Notable players: LB Willis*+, DE Smith*, S Dashon Goldson
This was among Manusky’s best defenses with the 49ers with Willis and Smith dominating in the front seven and Goldson making plays in the secondary.
2010 49ers (6-10)
Rankings: Yards 5,244 (13th), points 346 (16th), DVOA -1.4% (15th)
Notable players: LB Willis*+, DE Smith*, LB Ahmad Brooks
The team took a step back after three years of steady progress and the defense had its share of blame, giving up over 30 points in four games. After the season, Manusky was let go along with head coach Mike Singletary.
2011 Chargers (8-8)
Rankings: Yards 5,564 (16th), points 377 (22nd), DVOA 10.8% 29th
Notable players: S Eric Weddle*+
The Chargers took a step back from 2010, when Ron Rivera was the defensive coordinator and San Diego ranked first in yards allowed and seventh in defensive DVOA. Manusky was gone after one season.
2012 Colts (11-5)
Rankings: Yards 5,988 (26th), points 387 (21st), DVOA 2.2% (19th)
Notable players: LB Robert Mathis*, LB Dwight Freeney
He took over a Colts defense that was bad in 2011 and boosted them slightly. Manusky did face some adversity when head coach Chuck Pagano, who had a hand in running the defense, was out from Weeks 5-16 while getting treatment for leukemia.
2013 Colts (11-5)
Rankings: Yards 5,713 (20th), points 336 (9th), DVOA 0.9% (16th)
Notable players: DE Mathis*+
There was measurable improvement in the defense here despite the loss of Freeney.
2014 Colts (11-5)
Rankings: Yards 5,483 (11th), points 369 (19th), DVOA -2.3% (13th)
Notable players: MLB D’Qwell Jackson*, CB Vontae Davis*, SS Mike Adams*
They slipped considerably in points allowed but that is at least in part due to Andrew Luck becoming a turnover machine as he threw 16 picks and lost six fumbles. This may have been the prototypical Manusky defense; it wasn’t a great defense or even a very good one but one solidly in the middle of the pack.
2015 Colts (8-8)
Rankings: Yards 6,066 (26th), points 408 (25th), DVOA -2.2 (13th)
Notable players: LB Jackson, SS Adams*, DE Mathis
Pagano, who did have some responsibility for the defense, was kept on after a disappointing season but Manusky did not survive.