The New York Jets have a potential star on the rise in its coaching ranks.
Michael Zimmelman of “Last Word On Sports” predicted five current NFL coaches that are “set for coordinator roles in 2024.”
Manuel cracked the list and earned some high praise in the process.
“Marquand Manuel has been on teams coaching radars for some time. Manuel was a key factor [in] the development of the Legion of Boom defense of the Seattle Seahawks the previous decade,” Zimmelman explained in an article posted on July 14. “Another strong defensive season from the Jets could lead to a promotion for the -year-old coach.”
More on Manuel’s Path and Teams Sniffing Around
Manuel originally entered the NFL way back in 2002 as the No. 181 overall pick in the sixth round of the draft.
He would end up playing eight seasons for six different NFL organizations. Manuel was never considered one of the best defensive backs in the league but he was a solid veteran.
The former Florida product appeared in over 116 games and made 58 starts over that span. After his playing career, he made the transition to the coaching ranks in 2012.
The Jets are the fourth different coaching stint he has been a part of at the NFL level.
Manuel has served as an assistant coach, positional coach, and at one time was a defensive coordinator. From 2017-18, Manuel was the DC for the Atlanta Falcons.
“In his first season as coordinator (2017), the defense ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense (eighth), total defense (ninth), rushing defense (ninth), and red zone defense (fifth),” his bio reads on the Jets official website. “Additionally, a pair of second-year players, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal, each were selected for their first Pro Bowl.”
He hasn’t served as a defensive coordinator since, but he did spark some interest from other teams this offseason.
ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler revealed on January 15 that the Carolina Panthers “requested permission” to interview Manuel for their then-vacant DC position.
Ultimately the Panthers went in a different direction, but Manuel earning coordinator interviews could be a sign of things to come.
Another Jets Coach Is on the Rise
Manuel could be a defensive coordinator sooner rather than later, but there is another coach that seems destined for greener pastures.
I spoke with Jets senior reporter Eric Allen on “The Boy Green Show” on Thursday, July 13.
During our conversation, I told EA that Jets senior defensive assistant and cornerbacks coach Tony Oden won’t be around here much longer because he is “destined” to be an NFL head coach.
“Man he’s got it, he’s got it. He has the connection with the players, he understands the game, the relatability factor is so huge, and he can bring the best out of people,” EA told me on the show.
Oden has been coaching the game of football since 1996. Over that 27-year span, he has coached at both the collegiate and NFL level.
Throughout his coaching journey thus far he has yet to serve as a defensive coordinator but after talking to folks around the league there’s a strong sense he could leapfrog into a head coaching role based on his experience in the league and his communication skills with the players.