Why Roy Manning is the new CB coach

Submitted by umhero on March 25th, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I know there were a lot of questions about why our LB coach, Roy Manning, who played LB at Michigan and in the NFL, was moving to CB coach.

Mlive has an interesting article suggesting his rapport with our new CB recruits may have been a big factor. It also points out the the defensive backfield still has Curt Mallory coaching safeties. I'll bet a lot of the time they are coaching together.

For those who wondered why Michigan assistant Roy Manning was given the new position of cornerbacks coach earlier this winter, you may have part of your answer.

After being one of the main point men in Michigan's long and competitive recruitment of five-star 2014 corner Jabrill Peppers, Manning struck again on the recruiting trail Monday when the Wolverines landed four-star corner Garrett Taylor -- the top player in the state of Virginia.

Shortly after announcing his commitment via Twitter on Monday, Taylor spoke with Rivals.com about one of the main reasons why he chose to come to Ann Arbor.

Manning's name was almost immediately uttered.




March 25th, 2014 at 11:26 PM ^

Umm, no.  Good coaches can coach any position on the field.  At the end of the day technique, drills and responsibilities can be learned pretty quickly.  You do not have to play a position to coach it.  Greg Mattison played offense in college and he was even hired by an NFL team to coach linebackers even though he had never coached them before. 


March 25th, 2014 at 11:34 PM ^

Not all good coaches can coach anywhere on the field. To make such an absolute statement is silly.

Again, I never said that you have to play the position to coach it. But just because you're a great WR coach doesn't mean you are pretty much guaranteed to be a good RB coach.


March 25th, 2014 at 11:56 PM ^

You might want to check on who made the absolute statement first and yeah they can.  All coaching is it teaching.  If you can teach a linebacker to take his proper steps, why can't you teach a wide reciever too?  If you can teach a linebacker to take on a block, why can't you teach a corner too?  

What do I know though, I've only coached like seven positions.  


March 26th, 2014 at 1:08 AM ^

I remember a player on the DL made a comment about how much better the DL coaching was when Hoke came in, and to paraphrase, he said, "No offense to the former DL coach under Rodriguez (Bruce Tall?), but he hadn't coached DL before." Something like that. There are some similarities, but there are certainly differences as well. Coaches may jump around a few positions, but they don't just go all over the place. Offensive coaches almost always stay on offense and defensive coaches stay on defense. Surely as a coach you know there's more to LB and WR than taking proper steps. You don't teach your WR's how to diagnose the OL. Obviously many coaches can make the transition, but there must at least be SOME learning curve. I'm not worried about the coaching changes that were made by the way. Just pointing out that "I taught WR's footwork" isn't sufficient for coaching LB's.


March 26th, 2014 at 5:05 PM ^

You are correct about Tall and I think he was a good coach.  He was replaced by Hoke and Mattison, who are two very well respected defensive line coaches with a ton of experience.  I think this is the learning curve you are talking about and I agree with you that there is one.  

Experienced coaches do stay on one side of the ball, but younger coaches ofter flip for a few years.  They do this for a couple of reasons and I'll use a coach with a defensive background as an example.  If they have to go coach offense, it forces them to understand how offenses truely work.  They can then use their defensive knowledge to attack opposing defenses because they know where the weak points are.  

Yes, I know there is more than taking proper steps involved in playing football.  It was just a simple example of a very important part of playing football.  


March 26th, 2014 at 8:37 AM ^

Coach Z - I whole heartedly agree with your comments.  Most coaches go to clinics or have a more senior coach teach them the drills/schemes that the teach to the kids.  I would also say the intangibles that often make kids great players are often the most difficult to teach.  That is why a lot of great players are not great coaches.  Instinct cannot be taught in my opinion.  Technique can.


March 26th, 2014 at 8:53 AM ^

Coaching is teaching. But if I'm an expert in the history of the Polish people, I can teach a class on that. Does it guarantee that I'm going to be able to teach a class on Russia? No. It makes it more likely, but it doesn't guarantee anything. Again, I'm not saying Manning can't or that he won't.


March 26th, 2014 at 8:48 AM ^

I've never said that a coach is incapable of coaching of multiple positions. But to act like it's a given is silly. Lots of coaches can do it at a high level. Some can't. Just because you're a great WR coach doesn't mean you're going to be a great RB coach.


March 26th, 2014 at 9:40 AM ^

A point about good coaches....

Vince Lombardi was asked to coach basketball...so he did... he picked up a book, studied, modeled it, and became the top basketball coach in the league.

Some people have it, some don't... thats what it comes down to... does Manning ? Thats the question to ask here.


March 26th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

Even at the high school level my assistants and/or players would have to have had industrial strength ear plugs in to not become aware of the techniques, responsibilities, proper alignment, et. al., when going over these very things when lining up the defense and going through individual responsibilities for every defense, blitz package, pass coverage, etc., that we ran. One of the main reasons position coaches become coordinators is they have demonstrated a thorough knowledge and ability to teach all 11 positions for which they are responsible. It is also one of the main reasons position changes within a staff are made for the best and brightest teachers of the game. Believe me when I say at the D1 level, no coach is assigned a position to which they don't have a thorough understanding of.  Coaching is a combination of knowledge of those things you listed, coupled with the ability to teach. Motivational skills are essential as well, but definitely rise with the level or authority placed upon the coach.                        A poster stated last night the one possible exception to positional coaching might be the qb position, and I do agree to a point that ideally you will have someone that played the position because perfecting the techniques required of this position are an absolute must but through fellow staff members, clinics, etc., the requirements of this position can be learned and passed on to the player as well.  Even though Lloyd had good qb coaches you would often times see him grab the qb after a mental error or misreading of the defense prior to turning him over to his position coach because he was a college qb and had a thorough knowledge of this position.  It does not matter as much which member of the staff recognizes errors and corrects them immediately so as not to be repeated as it does that they are, indeed, recognized and corrected accordingly.  But fear not Manning's performance. He is ready for the job. And remember as well all coaches are learning constantly, and just like players, their performance increases with experience.


March 26th, 2014 at 8:09 AM ^

You learn it. I have no doubt I can learn it. Just like Roy Manning can learn how to teach DB's it's not like he's teaching the 1-3-1 zone. The stretch is not that far. Good coaches evolve and learn I would think he would have the work ethic and desire to evolve. Btw comparing a commercial jet landing to a carrier plane landing is an awful one. Any pilot can learn it how long it takes you to learn it well that's another story.


March 26th, 2014 at 9:03 AM ^

I don't know football extremely well, but it appears that the defense is especially important to work as a unit, much like the O-line needs to work as one, knowing where all the other cogs are and what they are doing.

In this respect, I am assuming that all the defensive coaches have a strong understanding of what all the other position groups are trying to accomplish on a given play and understand where the rest of the players are supposed to be.  If the Line is taking double teams, then maybe an LB is rushing off the edge and up the middle while the safeties and CBs drop to zones.

If this is so, then Manning needs are to teach technic. I'm assuming he had to play some coverage as a LB and can understand and learn the different types of technique to teach to the young players. However, CB, is also a position of raw talent sometimes.  He is not going to coach speed, and quickness, but he will coach position and team awareness.

Space Coyote

March 26th, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

Football =/= Engineering as a whole. Football is highly specialized, so let's say it's combustion engineering. Well, Manning is going from working with compressors, combusion, turbines, etc for airbreathing turbojet to steam turbine for a power plant. He's still applying the Rankine cycle, he's still working with internal combustion processes. It's different, yes, but much of the same fundamentals apply, though some of the specifics are new.

Lucky for him, he has the fundamentals, and he has other highly respected people around him to teach him some of the specifics he didn't already know.

I'm not worried about Manning coaching CBs, and I don't think people should be on here either.


March 25th, 2014 at 10:47 PM ^

Brian for one:

"Cornerbacks coach Roy Manning, who has never played or coached cornerbacks, sounds… not good. I'm willing to throw anyone who can recruit at a RB or WR position, but corner seems like a thing that you should either have done yourself or have a heap of previous experience doing."



March 26th, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

Brian is imperfect.  There are aspects of football he knows more than most, and some that he doesn't.  I don't see this move as being a big deal at all, and the coaches wouldn't have done it if they didn't have trust in Manning.  Manning has played a lot of football, and you pick up a lot along the way.  

I also don't think this thread proves anything anyway.  If you had your doubts about Manning as the CB coach, hearing "he was good at recruiting CBs" probably won't change your feelings much.


March 25th, 2014 at 11:34 PM ^

The problem is, it can't be properly analyzed. Head coaches and coordinators can be judged on objective game data. Unless you attend practices and film sessions, what a position coach is and is not responsible for in the context of the chosen scheme is conjectural. That's why I think it's a tiresome exercise.


rob f

March 26th, 2014 at 6:32 PM ^

"DB coach has been a can't win position here for a while", even though Austin's coaching career at U of M was from 1999 until 2002?  Just how far back have you been a reader of MGoBlog?

If someone with more knowledge of the history of MGoBlog can help me, please do so.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that MGoBlog didn't even exist until 2004.  I went to the old website (the one on Blogspot), and found some evidence that 2003 saw the birth of MGoBlog, but couldn't find anything indicating an exact date of inception.

Just speculation on my part, but I doubt more than a small handful of us here even knew of MGoBlog some 8-10 years ago.  Me?  I didn't even register on this site until Nov '10, but I do recall first going to the old Blogspot website a few years earlier, which means possibly 2006 but more likely 2007.  And I highly doubt Teryl Austin was still the subject of discussion here that many years after moving on from the U of M Staff.



March 25th, 2014 at 10:59 PM ^

coaches. We went out to eat when he came to recruit Dashawn and he is a really likeable guy who's young and down to earth and relates to these younger players on an entirely different level.


March 25th, 2014 at 11:58 PM ^

Don't know if you posted anything on this or if you can, but how big a factor was the losing in Dashawn picking Alabama over Michigan?  And if that wasn't such a big factor, what was the biggest reason for Bama?