- 111 career games, 105 starts in Jaguars uniform
- Six top-10 rushing offenses during his Jaguars tenure
- Three top-5 rushing offenses during Jaguars career
2003 was a year of great transition for the Jaguars organization. The only head coach in franchise history up to that point in Tom Coughlin had been fired after eight seasons. Jacksonville had yet to return to the AFC playoffs after losing in the 1999 AFC Championship Game to the division rival Tennessee Titans.
2003 saw not only the arrival of new head coach Jack Del Rio, but the beginning of the end of the Mark Brunell era under center. Jacksonville used its first-round pick on Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback Byron Leftwich. The Jaguars’ second-round pick would be used on local defensive back Rashean Mathis. In the third round, they went with a guard out of Hawaii by the name of Vince Manuwai.
No, Manuwai was never the best player on the field, but he was one of the most consistent along the Jaguars offensive line for much of the Del Rio era in North Florida. He started 105 times over 111 games at guard for the Jaguars. This allowed the Jaguars to have one of the best rushing attacks in the AFC during that time.
Six times were the Jaguars a top-10 rushing attack with Manuwai playing guard for them. In three of those seasons, the Jaguars were top-five in rushing offense. Of course, it absolutely helped having running back Fred Taylor in his prime, as well as a sneaky-good dual-threat quarterback by the name of David Garrard.
Jacksonville would make the AFC playoffs in both 2005 and 2007 during the height of the Del Rio era. However, Manuwai would never again reach the AFC playoffs, as he would leave the team after the 2010 season. Jacksonville wouldn’t get back to the playoffs until this past season in 2017.
Manuwai would sign with the Atlanta Falcons during the 2012 NFL offseason with the hopes of extending his career just a tad longer. Atlanta was run at the time by former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith. His offensive coordinator was former Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. However, Manuwai would be released by the Falcons before the start of the 2012 season.
Overall, it would be easy for us to overlook Manuwai as one of the all-time greats in Jaguars uniform. Though probably not a Pride of the Jaguars type of player, his eight years in Jacksonville were highlighted by having one of the best rushing offenses in football. Manuwai can take a great deal of pride in those team accomplishments.