Mark Stoops hired a defensive coach with over 20 years of NFL experience as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator. Greg Manusky has been added as a defensive quality control coach. Manusky coordinated defenses for the Redskins, 49ers, Colts, and Chargers. In other words, four NFL franchises believed in his coaching prowess enough to trust him with their defense. Significant. His new boss in Lexington is a familiar one. Manusky and Brad White previously worked together in Indianapolis.
Programs, like Alabama, traditionally bring on staff members as quality control coaches or “analysts” that are extraordinarily overqualified for an entry level position. Mark Stoops’ brother Mike and Butch Jones are two examples of several on Saban’s staff. Now, Kentucky has entered the modern day arms race by hiring Manusky. Folks have asked me if this is a big deal. My answer is simple: Huge.
What does all this mean?
Jon Sumrall is the Wildcats’ inside linebackers coach and has two returning starters that will compete for All-SEC honors. Brad White leads the outside linebackers with Boogie Watson being the conference’s top returning QB sack leader. Manusky’s role as a quality control coach, or QC, will be to assist Sumrall and White by providing analysis to the defensive coordinator after studying film, scheme, and personnel.
A major portion of his role will be as a “self scout.” Self-scouting is an inward look at the defense through the eyes of an opponent. During this process, coaches can discover its own schematic tendencies and substitution patterns. Another role will be scouting opponents in the short and long-term basis. For example, while the Wildcats are preparing for Eastern Michigan, Manusky can be working on Florida. A QC’s specific role varies and is determined by the head coach and coordinator.
Having a four-time NFL defensive coordinator in the Joe Craft Football Training Facility can be a tremendous asset for Mark Stoops. 2018 and 2019 saw his defenses finish fourth in the SEC in total defense. A sustainment or improvement to that number could enhance the Wildcats’ number of wins. Manusky only adds to the minds inside the defensive room which includes the head coach.
This is a win-win for all parties involved. A step back from the chaos that accompanies being a defensive coordinator may just be the move that will benefit Manusky’s career. Having him on UK’s staff will certainly help the 2020 defense which is loaded with returning experience.
Quality control coaches or analysts are not allowed to recruit off campus. However, his presence on the staff will be a benefit to prospective linebackers as the NFL is the goal of all the players that Vince Marrow brings to Lexington. We’ve seen what Jon Sumrall has done with DeAndre Square and Chris Oats. White has developed Josh Allen and Boogie Watson. A string of Kentucky linebackers to the NFL is a real possibility.
His hiring is significant, important, and makes a statement. The University of Kentucky has committed to facilities and coaches’ salaries. Now, like other top programs, it can claim the addition of a highly qualified QC analyst to the list. Huge.