Atlanta Falcons: Q&A with guard Vince Manuwai

Vince Manuwai, formerly of Jacksonville, shown here blocking against the Titans.  (By Paul Spinelli/Associated Press)

Vince Manuwai, formerly of Jacksonville, shown here blocking against the Titans. (By Paul Spinelli/Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — One of the first questions posted on the blog the other day was “Who is this dude?”

Vince Manuwai, 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 to 2010. He played left guard in 111 games and started in 105.

He was a third round pick (72nd overall) out of Hawaii in 2003 and will play right guard for the Falcons.

In order to get to know him before he has to report in late April for the offseason program, we tracked down Manuwai and asked him a few questions.

Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Was it easier for you to sign with the Falcons since you knew offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter?

A: Well, I mean, knowing the offense already and Dirk is a good guy, certainly helped. He knows his stuff as far as offense goes so that made it easy to join on with the Falcons. I also know Mike Smith and I really liked [offensive line] coach Pat Hill.

Q: How many teams did you look at before signing with the Falcons?

A: Nobody really. They just wanted to see me workout and wanted to make sure that I had no problems [from an ankle injury.] They made the first offer. That was it. I didn’t want to worry about looking somewhere else. For me, it wasn’t about the money. It was about going some where . . . the offense is very potent. They have a great quarterback and a great running back. As an offensive linemen that’s a good situation for anybody that’s missed football for a year and is trying to come back.

Q: How tough was it missing that year?

A: It was really tough. After you go eight straight years of football; not only eight in the NFL, but 16 straight years of football and the one year you miss it was really tough.  I had to work out for different teams. I went through that. It’s part of football. That was different. But now, at least this year, I have a home already since I’m going with Atlanta. Now, all I have to do is concentrate on just getting my body where I need to before the offseason program starts.

Q: The stats say you played left guard exclusively for the Jaguars. Is that correct?

A: Yes, eight years. Left guard.

Q: They like to cross-train up here. Did they talk to you about the left side or the right side?

A: The right side. I have no problem with that.

Q: Do you remember coming to Flowery Branch during the 2010 training camp? What were your impressions?

A: Yes, I was up there two years ago. The facilities were awesome and I got to see them from the inside and outside once I signed with Atlanta. It reconfirmed what I saw when I came down there as a visiting player.

Q: What did they tell you about improving their rushing attack?

A: Yes, like I said. After missing a year of football. I just wanted to pick a really good situation as an offensive linemen. We’ve got a great quarterback who can pass the ball and we’ve got a running game. That covers both things. We can run and we can pass. That’s something you’ve got to love. They’ve gone to the playoffs two years in a row. I feel like it’s a great fit. I hope to make sure we are doing the same things.

Q: Do you know any of the guys already? Did you meet anybody on your visit?

A: Yeah, I met Michael Turner. They introduced me to Michael Turner and they were saying ‘Do you want to run behind this guy?’ I told him that I’d be happy to block for him. I know Mike Peterson, Joe Zelenka and Brett Romberg. So, I know a couple of the guys.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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41 comments Add your comment


March 12th, 2012
5:23 am

i hope he works out. it seems the price was right

Say It Aint So

March 12th, 2012
5:59 am

Falcons had to make a few moves to shore up the O line. Bravo! Lets keep it going.

Falcon Fan

March 12th, 2012
6:25 am

Hope he’s a solid pickup. We are going to need a few miracles to turn this around fast.


March 12th, 2012
6:26 am

Hoping a year off, the wear and and tear on his body got some rest and a chance to restore any injuries that he had, so hopefully he will be ready to go!


March 12th, 2012
6:29 am

The fact that a career LG was brought in to specifically played RG is pretty telling, isn’t it? – Could mean big plans for the left side…

…Nicks? Gaither? Myers…?

Jimmy Crack

March 12th, 2012
6:43 am

Welcome Vince!

TD must be thinking eventually one of these PIP (previously injured players) acquisitions will pay off in diamonds. If not, it will just add to his legacy of questionable choices.


March 12th, 2012
6:48 am

I dont know what to say about this one , but he has great up-side this was a probale spot all last year , D.ol does this put ous out of the grubb or nick signings and could this be the end of baker with him

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March 12th, 2012
7:02 am

JesusHChristo you got an point there , I hope they sign ot from San diego. hes been hurt tooo , with all this I.R guy coming in it leave to belive that we are going for the mr super on the d-end. With Oneal at LT this will be then end of two o-lineman. sam baker and ?????


March 12th, 2012
7:13 am

Greetings and Welcome Vince Manuwai.

Pomaika`i, lawe mai ahi………!!

Chop Buster

March 12th, 2012
7:48 am

Sounds like a stud run blocker. What are we doing about pass protection? That is a major problem as well.

El Bravo

March 12th, 2012
7:49 am

Low risk, high reward signing. The price was right for someone that compete for and possibly shore up an area of need…

canadian falcon

March 12th, 2012
8:00 am

I predict that the birds sign levi jones for LT, and super mario at DE. Those will be the two major moves. For the draft we will look at TE, OL (most likely a centre) LB and CB. I also think we should let grimes walk. There are better options than this guy. Athletic or not…. he is too small. Can’t wait for tuesday. Go Falcons GO


March 12th, 2012
8:09 am

Lotta talk about bringing in injury prone or recently injured players. Abraham came in and was supposed to be injury prone. Turned out to be a beast. It’s the NFL, it’s an injury prone sport! These guys they just brought in look like top notch guys on the surface.


March 12th, 2012
8:12 am

I hope this guy has a nasty streak in him. The Falcons need a guy who wins on the line play after play. With a take no crap line of thinking

The Big Fat Blogger

March 12th, 2012
8:21 am

I’m a bit confused in all honestly, on one side, I’m happy that they are bringing in missing pieces such as a Left Guard (who the Falcons need dearly)… but on the flip side, what’s up with us signing players who are just coming off season ending injuries???? Sure, they might have came with a cheap price, but signing (even proven players) such as Inside Linebacker Lofa Tatupu who has had concussion and KNEE problems seems to be a big risk, especially when they are talking about replacing him (or an unproven NFL Linebacker such as Akeem Dent) with our leading tackler Curtis Lofton….


March 12th, 2012
8:47 am

Looks like 50 is the odd man out. I like Lofton I think he’s solid, but a liabilty against the pass. Besides he’s no Ray Lewis, I think two linebackers can feel that void.

Tha Real Falcon

March 12th, 2012
8:51 am

Looks like a move to center for Hawley or Johnson. LT is all we need now! Worried about the LB signing. NFL Post says he has a history of concussions. Maybe a backup but another year away due to injury player does not replace a Lofton!

Tha Real Falcon

March 12th, 2012
8:56 am

The Big Fat Blogger-Finally someone who gets it!

D Money

March 12th, 2012
9:18 am

I think the Oline will be fine in the middle. Now we have to sure up the LT spot. We can’t start off like we did last year. M. Ryan was getting blasted from his blind side.

As far as middle linebacker goes, I’m fine with Lofton leaving because frankly Dent is the same type of MLB and Tatupu is a good veteran linebacker. He was out of football last year to completely heal, not because nobody wanted him. He was cut from the Seahawks because he didn’t want to take a pay cut. The only way all this is worth it is if we get Mario.


March 12th, 2012
9:20 am

Lofton was a good guy and good football player but he wants top 5 money and he is not worth that, especially when you have to find a defensive end to replace Abraham. Lofton worked hard but just did not have the speed to cover and in this league you need guys on third down who can cover. I think it is great news unlike the past when the falcons would give out big contracts to just “good” players for example Keith Brooking.

old qb

March 12th, 2012
9:41 am

So far, so good with the moves. I would like to see them get Crowder from Miami. Steven Nicholas has never shown to be elete at LB. He needs to be pushed and Crowder might beat him out making the LB’s more of a force–especially when they switch to a 3-4 defense (and they will on occasion) which makes Biermann a real pass rushing force.
Sam Baker is a bust. He may have talent, but he’s really injury prone. They need to get a tight end with their first draft pick, but none on the board really stand out.
My biggest question is Rogers at RB. Everyone is so high on him and other than catching one veryy simple TD pass he didn’t show me anything close to Darryl Sproles in his rookie season. Don’t laugh, but if Antone Smith hadn’t had those fumbles in pre-season he’d be vying for a starting role this year–the guy can run.
I’ve always thought Dunta Robinson was not the answer, but at least he did renegotiate his contract which was a very good thing.
Svitek is an adequate LT, but Ben Jones of the Bulldogs would be a good addition for center in the draft and LT should be addressed in free agency.
Mario Williams is a no-brainer as there’s no way Abraham is going to get the money he’s asking.


March 12th, 2012
9:49 am

Who is this Bonik guy that the Birds just hired to assist Smith ? What’s his main function going to be?

Jepri arias

March 12th, 2012
11:12 am

@old qb Darren sproles didn’t look like Darren sproles his rookie year if you get what I’m saying, hopefully they start using Rodgers more in their offensive scheme but don’t judge him off of his rookie season wait for him to grow


March 12th, 2012
12:11 pm

He’s a starter. I don’t get why we don’t let Justin Blalock play right tackle where he was a 3-time All-American at Texas and blocked for Vince Young. Also won a national championship. And let Clabo play inside at LG. He’s a mauler in the run game and would get help in pass pro.

LT: Levi Brown
LG: Tyson Clabo
C: Ben Jones
RG: Vince Manuwai
RT: Justin Blalock

Great O-line!


March 12th, 2012
12:12 pm

he’s got a cool name and that’s what counts..



March 12th, 2012
12:20 pm

Glad to see OL addressed but we need more talent. I cannot concieve how we can afford M Williams.
We would need to cut 10 players and play with 43. I think keep abe amd play more 3-4.


March 12th, 2012
12:55 pm

Hope this works out for the Falcons. I hope they can acquire Nicks, Edwards and Gaither. I hope they actively pursue Ediie Royal- he’ fast and a good receiver that isn’t being used as he should be in Denver.
Please keep either Weems or Douglas or both if you can, it can only be a good thing!

Personally I hope Grimes and Abraham resign with the Falcons. If Grimes doesn’t want to be in Atlanta-let him go.. there are quality corners on the free agency market and in the draft. He’s a fan favorite so I hope he wants to be in Atlanta and stays.

My hat’s off to Robinson for making the deal with the Falcons, to help with $$$’s. To all the free agents that have resigned-thanks, thanks and best of luck this year!

To those that are considering resigning? Do you want to stay in Atlanta and feel you are a positive contributor? Then Atlanta needs you… if it’s the dollars, then let it play out as it should.

I’m excited about the new coordinators and hope Coach Smith gives them a lot of latituide in play calling offensively and defensively.It’s seems to be time for some changes and hopefully there are free agents on the market that can see themselves in a Falcon uniform and loved by the fans. Go Falcons!


March 12th, 2012
1:42 pm

If we sign Mario Williams and a LT in FA then our draft would be based on the best player available. And we could draft for depth.

[...] means the Falcons won’t be able to snag Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks.  That notion, along with an interview by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter with newly signed Vince Mauwai, [...]


March 12th, 2012
2:43 pm

Don’t like the idea of moving Manuwai from LG (his natural position), to RG. Must have big plans for the left side of the O-line….interested to see how it all works out. May know more tomorrow.


Chris Eagle

March 12th, 2012
3:23 pm

Hmmm… Tatupu and Manuwai… I hope these guys are natural ctizens, or we may never see them play in the Dome. Ask Chester Brown…


March 12th, 2012
5:36 pm

Vince was one of June Jones guys at Hawaii. We all know Junes fond of throwing the ball, so coming out of college he was known for his skill as a pass protector. Finding out that he was a total monster at run blocking must have been a really pleasant surprise. Vince is a big boy, but some times he allows himself a few too many second helpings. If he can keep his weight around three thirty he could be a steal. He ate himself out of job once. for his, sake and ours, lets hope he maintains his girlish figure.

to bleach or be bleached

March 12th, 2012
6:49 pm

Im off to get my anus bleached again.


March 12th, 2012
7:26 pm



March 12th, 2012
8:03 pm

Espn rumor mill question: Mario Williams Chicago’s number one priority? (4PM). The plot thickens.


March 13th, 2012
3:28 am

@to bleach or be bleached…What’s your problem dude? What’s that got to do with football? Sick sum beach……

I usually just read but....

March 13th, 2012
8:19 am

Now go out and sign, Orlando Pace, and Anthony Muñoz.

Charles Goin

March 14th, 2012
3:54 pm

You Guys in Atlanta got a great guard.. wish Jacksonville had resigned him after he came back from the injury. He is a Beast and a really nice guy (Off the field)


March 15th, 2012
2:47 pm

Orlando. Ask the Falcons some hard questions why the are sitting on the ___-doing nothing in free agency but signing hurt player who did not play last year. The Saint found room to sign Burke. What is wrong with our team. Left stop sugar coating the questions.

Preston Thompson

March 15th, 2012
3:29 pm

This is a good pickupfor sure, but what happened to the Williams and Nicks deal. Are the Falcons worried about saving a dollar. Reminds me so much of the Braves. Just sit pat. Not very good poker players.