Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations!
Don't hate the idea of Steve Wilks or Greg Manusky as #DCinDC
I've already noted that I'm not high on the potential hiring of Gus Bradley. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing Mike Pettine fill the Washington Redskins' vacant defensive coordinator position. Today, however, I'd like to take a look at two other candidates: Steve Wilks and Greg Manusky.
Wilks, 47, is the current defensive backs and assistant head coach for the Carolina Panthers. He played a major role in developing now Redskins' star CB Josh Norman, among many other mid to late round defensive backs. It's also important to note that he is an African American and would satisfy the Rooney Rule considering the team has not yet interviewed a minority. More importantly, he's very good at his job and has even received interest from teams for vacant head coaching positions.
The Redskins received permission from the Panthers to interview Wilks, but have not set a date. It's unclear why, however. It could pertain to the potential departure of current Panthers' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who may land a head coaching job in coming days. If that's the case, Wilks likely takes over as Carolina's leader of the defense. I'd imagine that would be a dream job of sorts for Wilks, who is from the Charlotte area.
I like the prospects of Wilks because he understands how to make the most of what he has. The Redskins need a talent-infusion and won't be able to have a complete overhaul in one offseason. Wilks knows how to make gourmet meals with poor ingredients. He has proven that year after year with the Panthers. Some call him the "secondary whisperer" because of how good he is at coaching up talent.
From my understanding, he's not a rah-rah guy. However, he has high energy, emphasizes technique and is a disciplinarian. Wilks would run a 4-3, so there would be a scheme change with him.
As for Manusky, 50, he currently serves as one of Washington's linebacker coaches. Believe it or not, I don't hate this potential promotion-from-within. I had a chance to chat with Manusky extensively at training camp and was impressed with his personality. Of course, Redskins fans know Manusky as being a wild-man of sorts from his playing days. But he's an extremely blunt, no-nonsense guy who knows how to balance that with a good sense of humor. Players would run through a wall for him.
I watched Manusky closely as he coached-up the outside linebackers position this offseason. While Preston Smith statically had a sophomore slump, Manusky absolutely loves him as a player and has been on him like white on rice. Not to mention, Manusky helped coach Ryan Kerrigan to his first Pro Bowl since 2012 and was a big reason for Trent Murphy's career season (9 sacks).
Manusky, if hired, would likely keep the current 3-4 scheme. But he's a guy who loves to blitz. One player told me after a game this season that Manusky was very instrumental in forming blitz packages for the Redskins' linebacker unit under former defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
In nine years of being a defensive coordinator (49ers, Chargers and Colts), Manusky statistically has never coached a top unit. He has had several top-15 defenses, but you could argue at each of those stops, his teams haven't been loaded with talent. Although, that probably wouldn't be the best of excuses considering the Redskins also lack talent. But his personality and coaching style could benefit the team.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.