The Eagles have been looking to fill their staff for a few weeks now, but it seems like it’s taken forever. One of the spots has seemingly been filled, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports after initially breaking the story of his interview just days before:
Eagles have interviewed former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel for defensive backs coach and a deal could happen as early as today, per source. Manuel was a key member of Atlanta’s defense during Super Bowl run, can help a Philly secondary that needs it.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 24, 2020
Eagles are hiring former Falcons DC Marquand Manuel as secondary coach, per source. Interviewed this week and will now join the staff.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 25, 2020
Marquand Manuel was let go after the 2018 season as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator. He was with the Falcons for four seasons, two as secondary coach and two as defensive coordinator.
Manuel was an up and coming assistant coach that many thought could end up being a head coach one day. He was being called the “Sean McVay” of the defense. Manuel has been heavily credited with the development of Keanu Neal.
Manuel’s firing in 2018 sparked some outrage among fans because they felt like he was the scapegoat for the struggles of a defense that was largely injured and for the play calling from a game plan that was developed by head coach Dan Quinn.
Despite the struggles of the defense in 2018, the young corners on the team seemed to develop nicely under Manuel’s teachings and he was known to connect with the players.
Prior to being with the Falcons, he spent 2012-2014 as assistant special teams coach, defensive assistant, and assistant secondary coach. He was heavily involved with the coaching and development of the “Legion of Boom”.
He was an eight-year pro, playing safety for six different teams. His career ended in 2009, after playing nine games for then-head coach Jim Schwartz.
Now, Marquand is tasked to help develop young corners that have failed to develop over the past few seasons. Sidney Jones has failed to live up to the second round status, albeit he’s been hit by the injury big many times. Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc regressed last season. Rasul Douglas has had his moments but he did not the development you want in a third year corner. It remains to be seen if Jalen Mills and/or Ronald Darby (please no) will be back in 2020, but regardless if they do or don’t return, Manuel has his work cut out for him.
If the previous hype around Manuel is real, then the Eagles have got themselves a great coach for an ailing secondary.
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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