Manuel with Green Bay Packers in 2006
|Date of birth:||July 11, 1979|
|Place of birth:||Miami, Florida|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||213 lb (97 kg)|
|High school:||Miami Senior (FL)|
|NFL Draft:||2002 / Round: 6 / Pick: 181|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Marquand Alexander Manuel (born July 11, 1979) is an American former college and professional football safety who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons. Manuel played college football for the University of Florida. The Cincinnati Bengals picked him in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he also played for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
Manuel was born in Miami, Florida in 1979. He attended Miami Senior High School, and he played high school football for the Miami High Stingarees. As a senior safety in 1996, Manuel was a Florida Class 6A all-state selection who made ninety-six tackles, nine interceptions and eight blocked passes. He received high school All-America recognition from National Recruiting Advisor, PrepStar and SuperPrep, and was rated among the top defensive back prospects in the country. Manuel was also a four-year honor roll student, and ran the 100-meter dash in 10.6 seconds for the Miami Stingarees track team.
Manuel accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1998 to 2001. The Gators coaching staff decided to red-shirt him as a true freshman in 1997, but he played in all eleven regular season games in 1998. As a sophomore in 1999, he totaled 118 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks, one forced fumble and four passes defensed as a sophomore. He started two games at outside linebacker, in addition to seeing significant action at safety, and led the team in tackles.
As a junior in 2000, Manuel served as a key leader on Florida's 10–2 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship team that earned a berth in the Sugar Bowl. As a senior team captain in 2001, he helped lead the Gators to a 10–2 record, a 56–23 victory over the Maryland Terrapins in the Orange Bowl, and a final No. 3 ranking in both major polls. He played in forty-six games during his collegiate career, and totaled 308 tackles, eight quarterback sacks, nine tackles for a loss, six fumble recoveries, twenty-two passes defensed and six interceptions.
Manuel was a four-year SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida in December 2000, and finished his college football career as a graduate student working toward a master's degree in education counseling with a special emphasis on mental health.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Manuel in the sixth round (181st pick overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he played for the Bengals for two seasons in 2002 and 2003. Manuel made his NFL debut against the Cleveland Browns on September 15, 2002, and started for the first time against the Indianapolis Colts and had two tackles. During the 2003 season, Manuel totaled eight tackles (six solo) in thirteen games with one start for the Bengals, and he also added five tackles on special teams. Manuel was waived by Cincinnati on September 5, 2004.
Manuel was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks on September 6, 2004. In his first season with Seattle in 2004, he played in fifteen games, finishing with ten tackles (seven solo) on defense and had nine stops on special teams. In 2005, Manuel was part of the Seahawks team that finished 13–3. In the 2005 NFC Championship Game against the Carolina Panthers, he returned an interception thirty-two yards to set up a touchdown. The Seahawks reached Super Bowl XL, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21–10. Manuel started the Super Bowl at free safety, but injured his hip and was replaced by Etric Pruitt.
Green Bay Packers
After Seattle's appearance in the Super Bowl, he was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an unrestricted free agent on March 13, 2006. During his only season with the Packers in 2006, Manuel started all sixteen games, totaling a career-high 103 tackles to rank fourth on the team. Memorably, he intercepted a pass deflected by Ahmad Carroll and returned it twenty-nine yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions on September 24.
The Green Bay Packers released Manuel on September 1, 2007 during the final preseason roster cuts, and he was signed by the Carolina Panthers on September 3. He played for the Panthers for a single season during 2007, playing in sixteen games and starting in two of them.
The Denver Broncos signed Manuel as an unrestricted free agent on March 8, 2008, and he played for the Broncos for a single season in 2008. He played in all sixteen regular season games for the Broncos, starting in fourteen of them, and tallying eighty-three tackles and four blocked passes.
Manuel was signed by the Lions as a free agent on June 2, 2009, and he played his final season in 2009 for the Lions. He played in nine games for the Lions, starting in six of them, and compiling thirty-six tackles. The Lions released him on August 4, 2010, during the 2010 preseason.
During his eight seasons in the NFL, Manuel played in 116 games, starting in fifty-seven of them, and compiled 366 tackles; he also had fifteen blocked passes, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.
Manuel was hired by the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 as the defensive backs coach, following Dan Quinn from Seattle to Atlanta. After coming under fire for it, on March 7, 2016, Manuel issued an apology for asking former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, at the 2016 NFL Combine, the question, "So, do you like men?".
During the 2016 offseason, Manuel interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator position, though he did not get the job. On February 10, 2017, Manuel was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.
He established the Marquand Manuel Foundation to help kids in his hometown of Miami. His oldest brother, John, was a Parade magazine All-American and played football at Florida State University. Marquand is the ninth of nineteen children and has a family of siblings whose ages differ by 25 years from oldest to youngest. Manuel has a daughter, Madison age 9 and son Marquand Manuel II age 5.
- Florida Gators football, 1990–99
- List of Carolina Panthers players
- List of Detroit Lions players
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of Green Bay Packers players
- List of University of Florida alumni
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Marquand Manuel. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Marquand Manuel. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2001 Roster, Marquand Manuel. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 19, 85, 99, 125, 153, 183 (2011). Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 2002 National Football League Draft. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- National Football League, Historical Players, Marquand Manuel. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Broncos add safety competition, sign free agents Manuel, McCree," CBS Sports (March 9, 2008). Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- Sean Uille, "Lions Sign Marquand Manuel," Pride of Detroit (June 3, 2009). Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- Danny O'Neil, "Marquand Manuel among Hawks' four new assistants," The Seattle Times (February 14, 2012). Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- "Marquand Manuel bio," SeattleSeahawks.com (December 19, 2013). Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Ledbetter, D. Orlando. "Falcons promote Manuel to DC, Young named defensive line coach". ajc. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
- Atlanta Falcons Release Statements Regarding ‘Inappropriate’ Question Asked To Ohio State’s Eli Apple At NFL Combine Retrieved March 7, 2016
- "Source: Falcons to promote asst. Manuel to DC". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
- "Falcons Promoting Marquand Manuel To Defensive Coordinator - NFLTradeRumors.co". nfltraderumors.co. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.