Marquand Manuel Top Candidate In Atlanta Falcons Defensive Coordinator Position
Feb 09, 2017 04:27 AM EST
Barely a week after a heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons are already eager to shake things up in preparation for next season. With the release of defensive coordinator Richard Smith, the Atlanta Falcons are now focusing on their next defensive coordinator, with Marquand Manuel high on their list.
The Atlanta Falcons are highly interested in hiring secondary coach Marquand Manuel as their next defensive coordinator, according to ESPN. Marquand Manuel has spent the last two years as secondary coach with the Atlanta Falcons.
The position as defensive coordinator became vacant after the Atlanta Falcons confirmed on Wednesday that they are not retaining defensive coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox, NBC Sports reported. If the Atlanta Falcons do hire Marquand Manuel as defensive coordinator, he would definitely be a big help as he has shown the abiltity to get the best out of Robert Alford and Jalen Collins.
During the season, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quin started taking more control of the defensive plays being called. Despite the Atlanta Falcons showing improvement, the defense still needs improvement. Hence, the interest in hiring Marquand Manuel.
Marquand Manuel, 37, has played eight seasons in the NFL at strong safety. Marquand Manuel's hands-on approach in developing the secondary has earned praise from Dan Quin.
Even though Marquand Manuel has never had any experience as a coordinator, he was interviewed by the Jacksonville Jaguars for the defensive coordinator position last January. Marquand Manuel was also the assistant secondary coach with the Seattle Seahawks when Dan Quin was still the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator.
The Atlanta Falcons' need for a shakeup on the defensive end became more apparent after their 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The Atlanta Falcons were up 28-3 in the third quarter before allowing the New England Patriots to rally and force overtime. In the end, the Atlanta Falcons allowed 546 total yards, including 446 passing yards, to Tom Brady.
Although Marquand Manuel is the leading candidate for defensive coordinator, he's not the only one in contention. The Atlanta Falcons are also interested in defensive pass game coordinator Jerome Henderson, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich and receivers coach Raheem Morris.