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Marquand Manuel identified as coach who asked prospect if he liked men, issues apology

The Falcons' defensive backs coach

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The coach who asked Ohio State prospect Eli Apple if he liked men is Marquand Manuel, which we now know because he and Dan Quinn have issued joint statements.

For Manuel's part, the apology is as sincere and heartfelt as can be expected from an issued statement, and there's little doubt he won't make the mistake of asking questions in that vein again. Ideally it wouldn't take the question being unveiled in public by a prospect to get him to understand it's not kosher, but better late than never.

Quinn, meanwhile, has clearly made it his mission to ensure the Falcons don't run into this situation again and to hopefully fend off the granite hammer of the NFL by training his staff. The only smart avenue here is the one he's taking, so I applaud him for that, even though he'll be dogged for a while yet about just how much control he has over his staff, and why the Falcons keep blundering from one situation to another thus far this offseason.

There's been no word what kind of punishment Manuel or the team can expect from the NFL, if any, so this isn't quite over yet. It's good to see the Falcons apologize and move ahead with free agency so close, though, and again, I don't think you'll ever see this happen again for this organization. Whatever that may be worth.