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Old 03-31-2012   #1
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Default Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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I found this article on PFF and thought y'all might enjoy the read. I'm so glad we were able to sign him and JJo
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Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears
April 17th, 2011 | Author: Tyson Langland
The 2009 Chicago Bears were a team full of should haves, would haves and could haves. Fans and blowhards alike instantly labeled them Super Bowl contenders based on the acquisition of Jay Cutler alone. But any logical football mind knows that even in a quarterback-driven league, one player cannot take you to the promise land.

Enter 2010, a season that involved much greater fortune for a much improved football team. By opening his pocketbook in the off-season Jerry Angelo (General Manager) proved that he was willing to spend big in hopes of achieving playoff glory. The high-risk hire of Mike Martz coupled with the high-dollar signing of Julius Peppers seemed to be steps in the right direction.

When you think of a Martz offense, you envision a relentless vertical passing game that has no desire to run the football. Well, Martz’s stubbornness must be wearing thin because the Bears deployed a much more balanced attack and finished in the bottom half of the league in terms of pass attempts. That being said, the offense finished with a bottom-of-the-barrel -135.5 cumulative PFF grade, making it clear that a majority of the praise should go to Lovie Smith’s defense that finished with a +93.5 mark and 9th in total yardage allowed.

Many thanks for the improvement will deservedly go to Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher, but Secret Superstar Danieal Manning must be added to the mix as the player that shored up the back-end of a leaky secondary.


Stats Don’t Lie

Make no mistake about it, the Bears statistically were better against the pass in 2009 in terms of total yardage. However, that can be misleading: the Bears’ 2010 coverage grades were better and teams ran the ball 81 times fewer than in 2009. Opponents abandoned the run much earlier in hopes of picking up yards through the air.

In his first year as a full-time starter, Manning didn’t hold anything back. He finished the season as our No. 5 rated safety with a grade of +9.5. There was never really a drop-off in his play at any point of the season with some of his most impressive plays coming in pass coverage.

Manning’s gaudy pass defense numbers earned him Lovie Smith’s continuous praise throughout the season. Opposing QB’s success didn’t come easy; they saw a QB rating of 59.7 when throwing into Manning’s coverage, with only 55% of their passes being completed for an average of 9.7 yards – a Top 10 number for safeties.

Not necessarily a tackling machine, but Manning compiled a solid total of 64 tackles in 2010 and rarely faltered. He only had three missed tackles all the season, which tied him for the second lowest rate among all NFL safeties.

But, of course, I left the most impressive number for last. At no point last season did he surrender a touchdown. There were four other safeties that didn’t the same, but none of them were targeted more than Manning.


Double Duty

Did I forget to mention amidst all the defense talk that he is also a pretty good kick returner? Midway through the 2008 season, he took over full time kick return duties from one of the all-time great returners, Devon Hester. That year, he led the NFL in returns of 30 yards or more, return average, return touchdowns and was named to his first NFL All-Pro selection.

While playing a larger role in the defensive game plan in 2009, increased snaps at safety resulted in decreased special teams opportunities. The Bears deployed a two-man Abilene Christian return game that split up duties. Both players did well; Johnny Knox and Manning combined for 1,596 yards, placing them second overall in total kick return yards. A 27.4 average between the two placed them in the top 10.

2010 proved to be another productive season for the Bears returners, doing it this time with a different combination as Hester was instered back into action in Knox’s place. Hester and Manning averaged 30 yards per kickoff return together.


It’s fair to assume he gets overlooked at safety because of his sucess as a returner. Most special team standouts are automatically categorized as one-trick ponies, but if Manning can continue to build upon his productive 2010 campaign, there is no reason more people won’t take notice.

At 28 years young and coming into his prime as a defender, it’s hopeful at this time next year we can remove the “Secret” part of this label for Danieal Manning.
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Old 03-31-2012   #2
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

good find. i think its true from all the safety play i have seen over the years he is def the top i have seen in a texans uniform and prob a top 3-5 in the league right now.

I like the rotation of him and Nolan with Quin in there as well
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Old 04-01-2012   #3
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

I've seen a few takes through last season where people didn't seem to rate him or Quin that highly.

I think good safety play is likely something you don't really notice unless you're skilled at analysing it. You'll get the odd INT and what-have-you but the real skill is in allowing the CB to make the plays by covering the completion.

We saw from Wilson and Pollard a year ago exactly what happens if you have poor safeties/a scheme that doesn't suit them (I believe the latter is true of Pollard, he needs to be handled a certain way to make the most of him).

I've also noticed that the Safeties who do get a lot of highlight plays around the league, seem to trade off some big negative plays to get them. Maybe Polomalu is getting a bit long in the tooth, but how many times was he hopelessly out of position on a big play last season. Would we really trade a few more highlight plays both positive & negative vs the sure and steady work we saw from our back end, which helped JoJo on to an elite season and KJax/Allen to look serviceable. I'll take what we've got thanks.
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Old 04-01-2012   #4
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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Originally Posted by welsh texan View Post
I've seen a few takes through last season where people didn't seem to rate him or Quin that highly.

I think good safety play is likely something you don't really notice unless you're skilled at analysing it. You'll get the odd INT and what-have-you but the real skill is in allowing the CB to make the plays by covering the completion.

We saw from Wilson and Pollard a year ago exactly what happens if you have poor safeties/a scheme that doesn't suit them (I believe the latter is true of Pollard, he needs to be handled a certain way to make the most of him).

I've also noticed that the Safeties who do get a lot of highlight plays around the league, seem to trade off some big negative plays to get them. Maybe Polomalu is getting a bit long in the tooth, but how many times was he hopelessly out of position on a big play last season. Would we really trade a few more highlight plays both positive & negative vs the sure and steady work we saw from our back end, which helped JoJo on to an elite season and KJax/Allen to look serviceable. I'll take what we've got thanks.
I have to agree with you on that. Ppl are praising Smith saying well he deserves GM of yr awards for those 2 moves blah blah but Im willing to bet anyone that Smith was hard after Nnamdi Asomugha and Wade stepped in and said no i think we can get 2 for 1 here. So im giving all the cred to phillips and i still think Smith needs to go. AND, J-Jo had a better year than Nnamdi so i think we did right last year. Wouldnt Morris Claiborne look good next to J-Jo?
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Old 04-01-2012   #5
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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I have to agree with you on that. Ppl are praising Smith saying well he deserves GM of yr awards for those 2 moves blah blah but Im willing to bet anyone that Smith was hard after Nnamdi Asomugha and Wade stepped in and said no i think we can get 2 for 1 here. So im giving all the cred to phillips and i still think Smith needs to go. AND, J-Jo had a better year than Nnamdi so i think we did right last year. Wouldnt Morris Claiborne look good next to J-Jo?
really ...
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Old 04-01-2012   #6
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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I have to agree with you on that. Ppl are praising Smith saying well he deserves GM of yr awards for those 2 moves blah blah but Im willing to bet anyone that Smith was hard after Nnamdi Asomugha and Wade stepped in and said no i think we can get 2 for 1 here. So im giving all the cred to phillips and i still think Smith needs to go. AND, J-Jo had a better year than Nnamdi so i think we did right last year. Wouldnt Morris Claiborne look good next to J-Jo?
Not a point I was trying to make tbh, I was simply saying you can judge Safety play partially on how good your CB's look, and if you aren't commenting on how bad your Safeties look then they're probably doing a pretty good job.

On the whole Nnamdi side, look back through the massive thread we had on here at the time, I was as up for signing the guy as anyone, at whatever cost. As soon as we took JoJo I straight away said I thought it was a great move in its own right especially as it freed up some extra cash to spend elsewhere over what Asomugha would have cost us. I took a hit or two then for being 'revisionist' as I remember, but in the end it proved to be the right move for our team.

If you think Wade Smith was saying 'hell no' at the thought of signing a guy of Asomugha's quality then you are sorely mistaken, I also think the organisation as a whole went pretty hard after their 2nd choice in JoJo as I doubt he'd have wanted to sign here if he felt he was the backup plan.

I didn't watch much of Philly this past year but I bet Nnamdi wasn't being used to his best talent, I think JoJo was. You can't rag on Rick Smith for making that move, there are plenty of other moves you could, like the amount he's paid the likes of Ryans, Winston etc thats ended up with them off this team (although not making the bold move to shed those contracts before they begin to hurt us).
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Old 04-01-2012   #7
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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I have to agree with you on that. Ppl are praising Smith saying well he deserves GM of yr awards for those 2 moves blah blah but Im willing to bet anyone that Smith was hard after Nnamdi Asomugha and Wade stepped in and said no i think we can get 2 for 1 here. So im giving all the cred to phillips and i still think Smith needs to go. AND, J-Jo had a better year than Nnamdi so i think we did right last year. Wouldnt Morris Claiborne look good next to J-Jo?
You give credit to Phillips instead of Smith based on an assumption ? Not saying i disagree that that may be the case about Phillips pointing smith in the right direction, but there is no proof of that, and noone should get credit based on an assumption. Because it could of easily been Smith who made the call to get jojo and manning and not phillips !
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Old 04-01-2012   #8
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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You give credit to Phillips instead of Smith based on an assumption ? Not saying i disagree that that may be the case about Phillips pointing smith in the right direction, but there is no proof of that, and noone should get credit based on an assumption. Because it could of easily been Smith who made the call to get jojo and manning and not phillips !
And that would be my ASSUMPTION since that's exactly what was being reported at the time. When Aso started yanking them and wouldn't commit, RS said "Vugg you, and pulled the trigger on D. Manning and JJo.
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Old 04-01-2012   #9
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

Easily the best safety I've ever seen in a Texans uniform.
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Old 04-01-2012   #10
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

I know this isn't related to on the field play, but does anyone else think he's uber underrated in Madden?
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Old 04-01-2012   #11
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

In 2010, Manning with Chicago was rated 7th by PFF.

In 2011, Manning with Houston was rated 31st by PFF for safties taking >50% of team's snaps.
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Old 04-01-2012   #12
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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Easily the best safety I've ever seen in a Texans uniform.
That's not exactly saying much. What other even passable safeties have the Texans had?
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Old 04-01-2012   #13
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

Signings like these two guys (Manning and Joseph) really make me wonder and question the folks who are terrified of free agent signings and think that any move of this kind will end in disaster.

This was the best off season the Texans ever had because of how these two really helped out our horrible secondary. Free Agency is the best way to fill holes as long as you're going after a quality individual that doesn't show signs of being a "contract player."
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Old 04-01-2012   #14
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
Signings like these two guys (Manning and Joseph) really make me wonder and question the folks who are terrified of free agent signings and think that any move of this kind will end in disaster.

This was the best off season the Texans ever had because of how these two really helped out our horrible secondary. Free Agency is the best way to fill holes as long as you're going after a quality individual that doesn't show signs of being a "contract player."
Yep

And I dont think it's a coincedence that the yr that Wade became the DC, the Texans got it right in FA/draft on aquiring for the defense.

What was the difference in the defense last yr and every other yr in Texans history on defense? Did Rick all of the sudden get it after all of these yrs?

Lets be honest here.
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Old 04-01-2012   #15
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

Rick Smith doesn't coach the defense, however he did supply the defense with talent through the draft and free agency: Antonio Smith, Connor Barwin, Brian Cushing, Troy Nolan, Brice McCain, Darryl Sharpton, Glover Quin, Earl Mitchell.

You can criticize Rick Smith for putting the defense in Frank Bush's hands and not hiring an adequate coordinator, but you can't knock Smith for drafting defense poorly and doing a poor job in free agency.
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Old 04-01-2012   #16
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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What was the difference in the defense last yr and every other yr in Texans history on defense? Did Rick all of the sudden get it after all of these yrs?
Rick isn't free of faults or anything, but, he is the one that brought in Wade.
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Old 04-01-2012   #17
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
Signings like these two guys (Manning and Joseph) really make me wonder and question the folks who are terrified of free agent signings and think that any move of this kind will end in disaster.

This was the best off season the Texans ever had because of how these two really helped out our horrible secondary. Free Agency is the best way to fill holes as long as you're going after a quality individual that doesn't show signs of being a "contract player."
Some teams, like the Redskins, go after big splash after big splash in free agency and it never takes them anywhere. The Eagles last year, huge in free agency and it didn't pay off.

The Texans went big in FA last year and it paid off. They hit on their guys.

But that doesn't mean that being a big player in FA every year going after the big names is a winning strategy. You've got to pick your shots and you need to build the core of the team with great drafting and with good scouting of the lesser known FAs.

The biggest danger is going after system guys or guys that are past their prime.
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Old 04-02-2012   #18
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

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You can criticize Rick Smith for putting the defense in Frank Bush's hands and not hiring an adequate coordinator...
Gary Kubiak chose Bush as the defensive coordinator. That's not Smith's area.
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Rick isn't free of faults or anything, but, he is the one that brought in Wade.
No he's not. Bob McNair was the major player in bringing in Wade, with Kubiak also having influence having a previous relationship with Phillips during Gary's playing days in Denver.
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Old 04-02-2012   #19
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

Danieal Manning a superstar? Surely the ghost of Matt Stevens and all the other miserable safetys along the way are cringing.

Manning is easily the best safety this team has ever had.
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Old 04-02-2012   #20
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Default Re: Secret Superstar: Danieal Manning, Chicago Bears

I do think Quinn is underrated by this board as he is sure tackler as they come. Not to mention he gets better every year he plays and this was his first year at safety. Expecting an even bigger year from him this season.
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