Greg Manusky, hired last month as the Redskins' outside linebackers coach, says he's ready to start his third stint in D.C. for a defense that has promise heading into 2016.
At the conclusion of the 2015 NFL season, the Redskins brought in a new outside linebackers coach, but while that coach was new to the position, he certainly was not new to Washington.
Greg Manusky was named to the coaching staff in late January, marking his third stint with the organization. Manusky came to the Redskins as an undrafted free agent out of Colgate University in the late 1980s and went on to have a 12-year career as a linebacker in the NFL.
At the end of his playing career, Manusky transitioned to coaching, something that he told "Redskins Nation" host Larry Michael that he didn't seriously consider during his time as a player.
“I think the first inkling that I had of it was when Tony Dungy, actually, when I was playing up in Minnesota came up to me and said, ‘You ever thought about coaching?’ and I said ‘Heck, no.’ I didn’t want to do that, too many hours, but over time, I think my career, when I ended my career I was more coaching up the younger guys that I was playing with and I kind of just fell into it.”
Since that initial conversation with Dungy, Manusky has gone on to coach in the NFL for 15 seasons, including one season with the Redskins early in his coaching career. His mentality as a coach is old-school; he preaches hard work and passion for the game.
“Just hard nose, putting your nose to the grindstone as a player and even as a coach I think I want to see guys with passion, I want to see guys that will strike which will separate and make plays on Sundays, that’s what I look for," he said.
Passion is something that Manusky credits for his own success as well, saying that players feel more motivated to perform well when they see that their coach cares too.
“I think players play for their coaches, play for the head coach, play for the organization and I think the most important thing is you’ve got to show them that you care about those players that you’re coaching and they’re going to have success," Manusky said. "Throughout the years, the players that I’ve had from Junior Seau to LaVar to Patrick Willis, I mean just great players, but great individuals that went out there and played and performed at a high fashion each and every week.”
“Yeah, I saw every game, when I came into it the first week I was here I looked at every game, looked at the players we have across the board, just like Joe [Barry] has,” Manusky said. “I think what it is, when they measure everything at the end of the year, its wins and losses and that’s the most important thing and sometimes those numbers are skewed based upon, teams are trying to catch up and then all of a sudden they pop a long run or a pass, but from the standpoint of effort and energy, one of the best I’ve seen on tape.”
For Manusky, it means so much to return to the organization that initially had faith in him after he finished college and he is excited to wear burgundy and gold yet again.
“It’s awesome," he said. "I love it. It’s just a great organization, great fan support, loved the fans when I was here playing, coaching for one year and now coming back, it’s awesome. Looking forward to it.”