Manny Diaz is a player’s coach. He’s a guy who laces up his cleats, gets in the trenches with his players, and illustrates what he wants his guys to do and where he wants them to go. Diaz’s hands-on approach gives him a boots-on-the-ground perspective, allowing him to look through the eyes of his defensive players. He can see the hole where a running back may burst through, or where a pass receiver could easily sweep across the field.
Diaz — who’s beginning his second year as the Longhorns’ defensive coordinator — is also a tinkerer. He likes to fine-tune his attack to his players’ strengths, and tweak his schemes to maximize field coverage.
During his first season at Texas, Diaz led the top defense in the Big 12, as the Longhorns ranked first in the conference in total, rushing and pass defense. Overall, the unit ranked 11th nationally in total defenseThe rest of this article is available to Digital Subscribers only. Login or Subscribe to continue reading.