March 22, 2018

Player Spotlight: Danieal Manning

This week in Player Spotlight, we will look at one of the under rated players on the Texans team. This player doesn’t get much recognition but goes about his business week in and week out. He is a versatile player having had both experience playing at cornerback and at safety. The player in the spotlight this week is Danieal Manning.


When the Texans went into the offseason of 2010, it was a dire need for them to get some secondary help. They had cut some loose ends with some older players that were no longer producing and it just so happened to come at the right time. Manning, at the time, was in his last year in Chicago and was in limbo as to whether he was going to be resigned or allowed to enter free agency. During the “summer of Asomugha”, where several teams were rumored to be in pursuit of the highly regarded cornerback, the Texans were making calls to see about Manning. During this time, the Texans managed to turn the pursuit of one into the acquisition of two premier players with Manning being one of them.


Fast forward to the 2011 season, Manning had a great season as his versatility proved to be more than expected, especially in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme. Manning was fast enough to cover wide receivers and running backs and big enough to cover tight ends, which was a huge plus. By Manning having these physical traits and athletic ability, it allowed Phillips to be more aggressive up front and force more turnovers for opposing offenses. This was the stark opposite of the abysmal defense once run by the former defensive coordinator. Manning’s ability to cover tight ends and play in the box made him extremely valuable as time went on.


In 2012, Manning, who was expected to have a breakout season having been in Phillips’ system for a year and more comfortable with the sets and formations, had a bad year. Manning was found out of position at times trying to cover the back end of the defense. He would seem to get over to a route a step or two too late, which against some teams cost them big. In a year where top cornerback (Johnathan Joseph) was playing through injury, it put a strain on Manning to cover more of the field when the Texans placed him as a single high safety. This wasn’t Manning’s strong suit and, at times because of this, offenses attacked the back end of the Texans’ defense with the deep ball and it proved to be the Achilles heel of the defense.


This year, the Texans have added safety Ed Reed to the secondary to help minimize the deep passes and allow Manning to play closer to the line of scrimmage. The Texans also added depth at the safety position by drafting rookie D.J. Swearinger. In the game versus the St. Louis Rams, Manning suffered a leg injury that cost him his season and could possibly be his last with the Texans as his contract expires at the end of next year. By the Texans drafting Swearinger, it could make Manning expendable especially by Swearinger being a younger and a less expensive alternate with a high upside.


Danieal Manning

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