Also on the move is Rod Chudzinski, the tight ends coach and assistant head coach to Norv Turner who will join Rivera to direct the Panthers' offense.
Manusky certainly knows his way to the coaches' second-story area. He directed the Chargers' linebackers from 2002-06, so many of his charges already are familiar with Manusky and his hard-nosed style.
"I don't want guys to trust me just because there's a lightning bolt on my shirt," said Manusky said. "Trust is earned over time with actions that back up what you've said before.
DC Greg Manusky
Manusky was also being chased by the Cardinals and Cowboys after working the last four years running the 49ers' defense. He takes over unit in San Diego which led the league in fewest yards allowed and was No. 1 in sacks.
Coach Norv Turner said he was sold on Manusky when planning to beat him last month when the Chargers faced the 49ers.
"Preparing for them this year, I think, brought out an appreciation from me for what he was doing," Turner said. "I think they gave you some things scheme-wise that were tough to handle. He's got a toughness about him, a high energy about him, that I think will help our guys."
Manusky had the inside track on two in-house candidates in linebackers coach John Pagano and secondary coach Steve Wilks. While passed over for coordinator, they remain on staff.
"When I looked at the three options in terms of Wilks or Pagano or Manusky," said Turner, "obviously the group that you could put together with Manusky as the leader is a very, very strong group and has a chance to grow by working together and be an outstanding staff."
Manusky picked the Chargers for their potential to go deep in the playoffs. This despite the fact they have won one postseason game in three years.
"There are some excellent players and coaches already in place," Manusky said. "I know this organization, what they expect and how they like to play football. I've coached against Norv several times, and he's always been my nemesis. I have tremendous respect for him and what they hope to accomplish in the near future. That's why San Diego was the perfect fit."
Previously the team tweaked Turner's staff in letting special-teams coach Steve Crosby go and replacing him with ex-Tampa Bay coach Rich Bisaccia.
Manusky will tweak Chargers' top-ranked defense