The Indianapolis Colts are bringing back general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano, but they are still making other changes. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the Colts have fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
Manusky was the team's defensive coordinator for four seasons, coming with Pagano to Indianapolis in 2012. Before that, Manusky served as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010) and the San Diego Chargers (2011). Before that, he was the linebackers coach for the Chargers (2002-2006) and the Washington Redskins (2001). Before that, he was an NFL linebacker for 12 seasons, at one point playing in 113 straight games (he played for the Redskins, Vikings, and Chiefs).
Many people will point to the Colts' defense as having failed and thus justify the firing of Manusky, but this move seems completely and totally to be the Colts finding a scapegoat. Pagano stayed, but the Colts needed a scapegoat and felt the need to make changes, so they fired their defensive coordinator. From that aspect of things I understand the move, but the problems in Indianapolis weren't Manusky's fault. He did the best he could with a defense that lacked talent in a number of areas and that, despite the numbers suggesting otherwise, was good enough this year. If the offense had been as good as expected, the defense would have likely appeared to be solid enough to most - not good, but one they could win with. And then last year, in 2014, Manusky did a brilliant job with a defense that lacked any pass rush threat, manufacturing pressure through blitzes and still helping the secondary play at a very high level.
Ultimately, however, the numbers say the defense hasn't been great, and the team has given up a number of huge offensive performances to opposing offenses. The team, therefore, justified the move to part ways with Manusky. There are better defensive coordinators in the league than Greg Manusky, but he wasn't the one to blame in Indianapolis. He got more out of his players than should be expected considering the talent level. He did more with less, in other words. As the Colts look to make changes, however, it sounds like he's on the way out anyway.