News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Colts

February 3, 2012

Colts welcome Manusky aboard as defensive coordinator

INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, coach Chuck Pagano and potential No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck led the parade.

Grigson and Pagano confirmed the hiring of several assistant coaches, including defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, Marwan Maalouf (special teams), Roy Anderson (safeties), Alfredo Roberts (tight ends) and Brandt Boyer (assistant special teams).

Manusky was in charge of San Diego’s defense this past season and spent the previous four years (2007-10) running the San Francisco 49ers defense. Maalouf and Anderson both coached with Pagano in Baltimore. Roberts, meanwhile, spent the past season with Tampa Bay.

The Colts will also retain running backs coach David Walker and former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen from Jim Caldwell’s coaching staff. Christensen, who spent the last two seasons in charge of the Indianapolis offense and eight years coaching the team’s wide receivers, is expected to be the Colts’ quarterbacks coach.

Other positions — such as defensive line coach, linebackers coach, cornerbacks coach, assistant offensive line and defensive line coaches, and strength/conditioning coach — have yet to be filled.

“It’s great to have Greg Manusky aboard. Greg’s been a player and a coach in this league for a long time. I think his resume speaks for itself,” Pagano voiced. “He’ll bring great leadership, passion and energy to our organization and to the defensive side of the ball. It’s great to have Greg aboard.”

There’s no rush to complete the coaching staff according to the Colts coach.

“We’re getting closer every day. But at the same time, I think it was important to get the coordinators settled. We got two great ones. It’s all coming together,” Pagano said.

“Between Ryan [Grigson], myself and Mr. [team owner Jim] Irsay, we’ll take our time. It’s not something that you want to rush into. We’ve got a ton phone calls to field. We’ve got some great, great coaches out there that all want to come to Indy, [who] want to be a part of this organization.”

Manusky will call the defense, with imput from the rest of the Colts’ coaching staff.

“Greg will. Collectively as a staff, whoever ends up being in that defensive room, we’ll put a system in, we’ll put a scheme in,” Pagano said, adding that he has just begun looking a tape from the past season.

“Greg and I started to watch some tape [Thursday] and then we started talking scheme. A play goes on and then start talking scheme. I’ve watched maybe 20 snaps in the time I’ve been here because of everything we’ve been trying to do as far as putting a staff together. It’s just another thing that I have to dive in to.”

No decisions have been made about any of the players currently on the Colts roster. That will come in time.

“Between Ryan, myself, Mr. Irsay and everybody else involved, the scouting staff, we’ve got to take a close look at our roster and see where we’re at there,” Pagano added. “We all understand guys are out there, free agents, there’s all that stuff that’s going on. So as a team and as a group, we will put together a great 53-man roster.”

There has been brief contact between the new Indianapolis coach and Manning, he acknowledged.

“We’ve talked to Peyton. We just had a phone conversation. There’s a lot going on, obviously, with the Super Bowl being in town. So that’s kind of been the extent of it,” Pagano said.

I I I

n Grigson talks — According to the team’s new general manager, keeping Christensen on the offensive coaching staff was important.

“Clyde is a valuable piece to [what the Colts want to do offensively]. and he’s a very respected man and football man. He’s going to help us greatly moving forward. As of right now, he’s maybe our quarterback coach,” Grigson said.

“That’s something that we’ve talked about. But he’s a pretty selfless guy and he wants to do whatever he can to help the Colts win. And that’s great to have someone like that. Nothing is set in stone. Bruce, coach and myself are pretty comfortable as possibly being the quarterbacks guy. Clyde can wear a lot of hats in this deal.”

As far as deciding on whether to take Luck or Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, that’s still being discussed.

“I feel like I have a pretty good feel [for both players] but when you really want to narrow and hunker down, you’ve got to spent those days and compare and look and pick out who is your guy,” Grigson said. “It’s a process, just like all this is. I’d be lying if I said I was dead set on anything right now.”

Keeping free agents Robert Mathis, Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis remains a work in progress.

“I know there’s tremendous affection for all those guys. Those are three great players, guys that have been so productive here. Those three guys are three great players. We’d love to have all of them,” Grigson said, but added that there will be some tough decisions.

n Luck on radio row — The presumptive No. 1 draft pick made the rounds of radio and television stations Thursday afternoon. During one conversation, Luck was asked about the idea of replacing Manning as the Colts’ starting quarterback. “

“You don’t ever replace someone like Peyton Manning. He is the best. From what I understand, he means so much to [Indianapolis]. Not just for the football stuff, but what he’s done off the field. You don’t ever replace guys like that.,” he said.

Luck said he would embrace being the first overall pick in the draft. As to the possibility of being a Colt in 2012, he said, “I just want the chance to play NFL football. Growing up, that was the dream. The chance to play professional football would be totally, totally awesome.”

n Is Arizona in Manning’s future? — According to sources close to the situation, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is expected to have dinner with the Colts quarterback this week.

Fitzgerald and Manning are both spokespersons for Gatorade and have been friends for several years. The Arizona Pro Bowl receiver is expected to make a recruiting pitch in case the Colts and Manning is released.

The Cardinals signed former Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb prior to the start of the 2011 season, but Arizona finished the year with an 8-8 record.

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