Texans defensive coordinator job has two new candidates

Two new names have appeared lined to the Houston Texans defensive coordinator vacancy. (And no, fan favorite JJ Watt has not been named as a candidate yet.) New head coach DeMeco Ryans is putting together a new staff for next season. Ryans is taking advantage of Super Bowl week to set up interviews for open coaching jobs.

According to Aaron Wilson with KPRC, the Texans have asked for permission to interview Washington Commanders defensive backs coach Chris Harris and New York Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel.

These are just requests for permission to interview for the Texans defensive coordinator job. The teams and candidates can deny the request.

Chris Harris

Photo courtesy of Brian Murphy

According to the Commanders website, Harris has coached in the NFL for nine seasons. He’s coached for the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears. Harris’ position groups have enjoyed success under his tutelage:

“Harris joined Washington after serving as the Los Angeles Chargers assistant secondary coach from 2016-19. In 2019, the Chargers defense ranked sixth in the league, only surrendering 313.1 yards per game. The group also ranked fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game, only allowing 200.3 yards per game.

Harris began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears, working primarily with the team’s safeties. He coached in Chicago from 2013-14.”

Marquand Manuel

Photo courtesy of the Jets

According to the Jets website, Manuel, a former defensive coordinator, has been to two Super Bowl trips in his 18-year career in the NFL as both a player and coach. He’s been with the Jets for the past two seasons. Manuel has also coached for the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, and Seattle Seahawks:

“Prior to joining the Jets, Manuel served as the defensive backs coach with Philadelphia (2020), before four seasons in Atlanta, first as the secondary coach/senior defensive assistant (2015-16), Manuel was later promoted to defensive coordinator (2017-18). In his first season as coordinator (2017), the defense ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense (eighth), total defense (ninth), rushing defense (ninth), and red zone defense (fifth). Additionally, a pair of second year players, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal, each were selected for their first Pro Bowl.

Manuel’s first NFL position came in Seattle as a special team assistant (2012), before serving as defensive assistant (2013) and assistant secondary coach (2014). In his three seasons with the Seahawks, the team advanced to two Super Bowls, earning a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, while the defense allowed the fewest passing yards per game in 2014.”

The next Texans defensive coordinator is important

Ryans is installing a new culture in Houston this season. The next Texans defensive coordinator needs to help Ryans build that foundation. Both of these candidates have had success in coaching, and we’ll be eager to see how they progress with the job opening should they accept the interview.

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