Marquand Returns for Some Manuel Labor

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February 16, 2012

MarquandManuel250_0216In 2005, Marquand Manuel stepped in and helped the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl.

Now, the former free safety is stepping in as the assistant special teams coach on Pete Carroll’s staff. Manuel replaces Jeff Ulbrich, who left to become the special teams/linebackers coach at UCLA.

Manuel, 32, started 58 games and had 332 tackles in eight NFL seasons, playing for the Cincinnati Bengals (2002-03), Seattle Seahawks (2004-05), Green Bay Packers (2006), Carolina Panthers (2007), Denver Broncos (2008) and Detroit Lions (2009).

He entered the league as the Bengals’ sixth-round draft choice in 2002 and was claimed off waivers by the Seahawks in 2004. When starting free safety Ken Hamlin was placed on injured reserve midway through the 2005 season, Manuel stepped in and tied for third on the team with 71 tackles in 11 starts as the Seahawks compiled a franchise-best 13-3 record.

Manuel also started all three postseason games – including the victory over the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game, when he intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards to set up a touchdown – but was sidelined early in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL because of a hip injury.

He jumped to the Packers in free agency in 2006 and had 81 tackles in 16 starts, and then had a career-high 83 tackles while starting 14 games for the Broncos in 2008.

Manuel was a coaching intern at the University of Florida last season.

In his second stint with the Seahawks, Manuel will assist special teams coordinator Brian Schneider in handling the units that feature punter Jon Ryan, who holds the franchise records for average, net average and longest punt; returner Leon Washington, who was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010; kicker Steven Hauschka, who scored a team-high 109 points in 2011; and coverage units that were led last season by linebacker Heath Farwell, who had a league-high 21 special teams tackles despite playing in only 11 games.

Manuel is the ninth of 18 children in a family where the gap between the oldest and youngest is 25 years. And what was life in that extended – and extensive – family like?

“It was fun, man,” Manuel said at the time. “That’s the only way to explain it.”