Manusky gets an interview

Posted by Darren Urban on January 11, 2011 – 3:31 pm

The Cardinals and coach Ken Whisenhunt spent Tuesday doing their first interview for the defensive coordinator spot, talking to Greg Manusky — who was the DC for the 49ers the past four seasons. The 49ers were ranked 13th overall as a defense and 16th in scoring defense this past season.

Manusky went to college at Colgate and then spent more than a decade (1988-99) as a linebacker in the NFL. He was teammates with Russ Grimm and Ken Whisenhunt with the Redskins in 1989 and 1990. As a linebackers coach in San Diego and then his stint in San Francisco, he oversaw Pro Bowlers like Donnie Edwards, Shawne Merriman, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis. He is also reportedly going to interview for defensive coordinator positions with both the Chargers and the Cowboys.

The Cardinals are expected to have another candidate interview this week.

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Posted in Blog | 56 Comments »

56 Responses to “Manusky gets an interview”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Odds on this one D?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    PhoenixRaven —

    RE: Manusky “odds”

    Comon. You know me better than that.

    Well regarded though. Wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get him.

  3. By Danny on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    49ers also started 0-5.. Does that not make you worry a little? lol

  4. By Eric on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Lets not jump the gun, ie Anderson. If Whiz has a good repore with Butler in Pitt, I prefer a Leboe trained coach. Sorry, success speaks for itself.

  5. By chirpchirp44 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Like it 49ers have had our number the last 2 seasons

  6. By badmatty53 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Soory to be the one to point out your typo but isn’t it Cowgirls?

  7. By Fortun8s on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply


    I find the emails very entertaining!! Fans screaming, I WANT – WE NEED – CARDINALS SHOULD – with out deference to the professionals who are paid handsomely to do the job.

    Opinions are just like …………., everyone has one

  8. By D on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    We shouldn’t have let him leave. Hard to compete with Dallas and San Diego.

  9. By Rimrockcard on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    this would`nt be my 1st choice,but luckily for everyone whiz rarely asks my opinion.
    @eric..butler is alleged to have a clause in contract that won`t allow him coming here..or anywhere i guess

  10. By Ron T on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Has anyone considered Dave Wannstedt. He has always been a great DC and now that he is no longer with Pitt, I think he would be worth talking to.

  11. By Michael on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    If we dont get Manusky, or Butler im going to be very dissapointed c mmon Whiz get a good DC!

  12. By Wampag on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    what about Wade Phillips and of course

  13. By Darthcard on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    I would love Manusky as our D-coordinator. In the process I forgot about him. He’s my second choice behind Rob Ryan but ahead of let’s say Pepper Johnson. I will be disappointed I’d they get that guy Butler from the Steelers. All due respect but I’m tired of steeler sloppy seconds.

  14. By wayne on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Bill Davis also learned from Leboe, we know how that turned out with a LB coach attempting to be a DC, I am not saying it would happen again but Butler isn’t gonna leave Pittsburg, we need an experienced and good DC thats been at it for some time.

    Have you heard any mention on Dave Wannstedt getting an interview, I heard on ESPN radio that the Cards, Panthers, 49ers were interested. I think it’s not true because we normally here it here first.

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: Wannstedt

    I do not believe he is a candidate.

  16. By Javi on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    are there any big name coaches who the cardinals are interviewing?

  17. By birdcityboi on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Off the subject…Why cant i buy a Stephens-Howling jersey from the Cardinals store?

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Birdcity —

    RE: Hyphen jersey

    Send me an e-mail at and I will try and put you in touch with someone who can answer those questions.

  19. By SteveDCO on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – Just listened to Undergroung. Very nice.

    Couple of random questions:

    Do the Cards have the same number of coaches as other NFL teams? I thought I read once that we ran below the typical number.

    I know Whiz got a big contract and is paid very well even amoung NFl coaches. Has that trickeled down to the other coaches? I believe Grimm is like 1.5m and Davis was like 1m. Is that above/ below or inline with other NFL teams?

    Is Coach Whiz and the orginization considered a good place to work? I know coaches and players will go where they get paid but if Manusky is offered the same money in AZ as other places would the chance to work with Whiz make a difference?

    And for the others – Wade Phillips is employed by the Houston Texans.

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    SteveDCO —

    RE: Questions

    1) Don’t know on the coaches. I know there are teams with a bigger staff but I don’t think the Cards have the smallest staff. But I’d have to look it up.
    2) I don’t think Davis was being compensated that highly, but I do not know. Other than Whisenhunt and Grimm, I am not familiar with the salaries of the rest of the staff.
    3) Can’t answer that Manusky question. Like anyone with any job, people have different standards of why they want to go somewhere.

  21. By steve on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, Is Keith Butler really off-limits to the Cards as rumored? Have you heard anything to the contrary regarding his contract?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Butler

    I don’t know if Butler is off-limits. Until the Steelers are out of the playoffs, the Cards can’t even ask permission. And as with any contract, if the Steelers are willing to let him leave, they can override the contract even if it says he can’t go.

  23. By greg on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I love this website more and more everytime I visit. Im not gonna go out and say who or why the Cards need or don’t need at DC all I’ll say is they should look for a proven, and experienced DC and if they want to take a chance with someone new to the job do it but make sure he’s well qualified and know’s how to get in the face of the players, and wont let them slide if they give the wrong type of attitude. Trust is alsow a key issue.

  24. By Brian on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Go for Butler, this guy will be the real deal, I watched his career in Seattle and his motor never stopped running at full speed,he was relentless not to mention a deciple of Dick Leboe….. Do It.

  25. By CardzfanforLife on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    What defense do the 49ers use? I can’t seem to remember.

  26. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cardzfan —

    RE: Niners D

    They employed a 3-4 base scheme.

  27. By Real on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    We don’t always hear nothing here, darren tells us the same stuff we read and hear on espn ten minutes before this site. I don’t get how we don’t know more about whats going on since we have a so called blogger that’s suppose have insight but come on darren is just like us with no insight

  28. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Is Manusky a hot coaching prospect or a lame duck coach, looking for a job after Harbaugh hires his Stanford DC for the Niners?

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Manusky

    Po-TAY-toe, po-TAH-toe.

    The Chargers and Cowboys both want to talk to him too, though, so …

  30. By 69er4l on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    When they going to interview a OC?

  31. By brad oneill on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    fortun8s- with all due respect, that is what fans do. most of us realize we aren’t even qualified to wash jockstraps but by voicing our opinions loudly we feel we are part of the process.

    there is that little bit of hope deep in the back of our minds that somehow our opinion will cross the desk of the powers that be and they will mutter my God that guy is on to something and somehow out of the chaos our little voice will somehow influence something.

    kind of like that butterfly in the ray bradbury story.

  32. By ben on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    hey darren any word on whether or not The Whiz is going to be interviewing OC this offseason

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Ben —

    RE: OC

    I’ve answered this question too many times already.

    The offensive staff is expected to stay intact.

  34. By NYCARDSFAN on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    You say Leboe, I say Lebeau. lol.

  35. By kekojones on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    chirpchirp44 –

    “Like it 49ers have had our number the last 2 seasons”

    Did n’t Bill Davis defense beat the Cards a few times when he was their DC?????

    That’s scary to me…

  36. By cardsalltheway on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    There is NO chance for the Cards/Ken W. to obtain Manusky. I don’t think Manusky is a candidate, he just “interviewed” as a favor for his buddy Ken W., or stall, or make Ken W. look like he’s doing something. Ken W. doesn’t know what the heck is going on. It is really is sad.

  37. By Plucky on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    i really hope that pitt loses this week.. i really want butler..

  38. By Voice of Reason on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Wannstedt certainly should be a guy they talk to, given his track record of success. He’s more of a 4-3 guy, though.

  39. By anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    I like Ryan as a choice for DC, if at the least for his track record of pushing limited talent beyond their normal capabilities.

    Also Darren, what are the chances of the Cards bringing in Richard Seymour, supposedly going to be a free agent this off-season? I would love to see him line up alongside Docket and give our D-line that aggressive 1-2 punch that many of the championship contenders seem to have these days. He’s still within his prime to give at least 2 good years possibly up to 4, and at the very least hes a leader that makes the players around him contribute more.

  40. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Anonymous —

    RE: Seymour

    Would doubt it, although I am not sure what they will do with their own FA DL. Who do you displace out of the 3-4 starters if you sign him?

  41. By anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Robinson, move Brown up with Watson as his relief, and then you have a nice rotation of Dockett, Seymour, Campbell, and Branch who can play either position but two with an exceptional potential for reaching the opposing QB from the outside.

    At least as far as their current depth chart goes, who knows what it will be like after the coaches do their evaluations.

  42. By harlanlee on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren: Yes, you may have previously (partially) answered the OC question, but the real question remains: Why not shake up the offensive coaching staff? Does anyone really believe that Grimm and Miller have even come close to maximizing the Cardinal offensive potential? And Coach W did receive a grade of F (maybe even F-) in his role this year as OC. Does Cardinal management really believe that Coach W is the best OC available? Is keeping Coach W as OC really the smartest choice, or merely one that can save the Cards a $million or so in salary? When Coach W has won as many Super Bowls as the head guy in New England, he can appoint himself Numero Uno play caller. Until then, spread the responsibility (and accountability) around — bring in a strong OC.

  43. By John on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply


    RE: Seymour

    Any one who punches Big Ben is a starter on my team.

  44. By BLOOD RED on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Huge decision! I think coach Whiz will make the right one. We get a really good DC and it’s on with all the talent we have! We have to go get the best (whomever that is) and pay the man! Shutdown D = Wins baby!! ROCK N ROLL RDEBIRDS!!!!

  45. By Voice of Reason on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    So who is the second interview?

  46. By Darren Urban on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Voice —

    RE: Second interview

    Have not heard. Don’t think it has happened yet. Always possible it could be pushed back.

  47. By Joseph on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    The cards need an experienced dc who can transform some of the talent they have and get more out of the vets that are there . They have talent at several positions, just need to execute.

  48. By Ryan on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply


    What is the status of the offensive coordinator position? I’ve only heard updates on the defensive coordinator position. Clearly this offense struggled this past season and that had a lot do with Whisenhunt wearing too many hates. Also, when will they finally fire Russ Grimm and bring somebody in that can actually improve this offensive line? No doubt the guy is a hall of fame player, but that has not translated over to coaching.

  49. By Darren Urban on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan —

    RE: Offensive staff

    As I have said many times, the offensive staff is expected to remain intact.

  50. By anonymous on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply


    Forget what you think the Cardinals and Whiz will or should do. In your opinion then, if you were the one running the team from the sideline, who would be any other possible candidates to look at? Both at the Pro, both former HC and DC and those that are looking for a promotion, and Collegiate levels?

  51. By Darren Urban on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    anonymous —

    RE: DC

    You are assuming I spend a lot of time looking at this stuff. I do not. Could there be quality assistants out there on the college level? Sure. But I couldn’t say who they are, and I don’t have a lot of ideas on the pro level.

    I would look at Mangini I suppose. And for those who don’t want Butler, one of the reasons he is still in Pittsburgh is because they believe he can eventually replace LeBeau, so he’s got to have some potential, right?

  52. By Woody on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – I don’t understand the no timetable, willing to wait for someone approach to hiring a defensive coordinator. Butler isn’t going anywhere since he is the heir apparent to LeBeau and Pittsburg isn’t going to give permission for talks. Manusky and Ryan are already lost to SD & Dallas so who is left that can be a quality DC? Any insight here? Thanks and keep up the good work.

  53. By Darren Urban on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Woody —

    RE: Timetable/Butler

    In terms of the timetable, I would guess Whisenhunt has a timetable in his head. But what’s the point of saying it publicly? So all the fans can rip on him if he doesn’t hit it? There’s no upside for him to say.

    Ryan wasn’t coming here.

    As for Butler, I have not read anywhere where they won’t get him. I have read that it is possible, but until I hear permission was denied or that Whisenhunt is moving on, I find it crazy to think the Cards are looking at someone they know they can’t get. That doesn’t compute.

  54. By jake on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    rob ryan if he can win in cleavland with mangini he can win in az and whiz is alot better than mangini

  55. By Ryan on Jan 16, 2011 | Reply


    What is going on with the hiring of the d-coordinator position? Seems like Whisenhunt and Graves are botching this just like they did the quarterback position. We all saw how that worked out when they got rid of someone before securing a viable alternative.

  56. By redrage on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply


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