FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons named Marquand Manuel their new defensive coordinator back in February.
He spoke to the media for the first time on Tuesday.
Here are the five things we learned:
1. Manuel’s background. He played eight seasons in the NFL and is set to enter his sixth season as a coach. His climb to position has been quick. He’s played for some of the league’s most respected coordinators in Dick LeBeau, who was his first head coach, Leslie Frazier, Ray Rhodes and Gunther Cunningham. He’s also coached with Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn and the man, he replaces, Richard Smith.
2. Gator bait. Manuel played at Florida under Steve Spurrier from 1998-2001 and was a four-time SEC Academic honor roll honoree.
3. Play-calling style. Marquand said, “I’ve played in every defense known to mankind. I have an understanding of how you simplify things for the players because they are the ones who perform on Sundays.”
4. Master plan. Manuel wants to get the points allowed down, play better red zone defense and continue to have a positive turnover-ratio.
5. Player log. So, overall, in 13 NFL seasons as a player and coach, Manuel has worked with 11 different defensive coordinators. He will draw on all of those experiences as he calls plays for the first time during the 2017 season.