Just got off a plane in Pittsburgh to the news that Lovie Smith took care of his first priority of the offseason--landing Rod Marinelli as the defensive line coach for the Bears.
Marinelli will also hold the title of assistant head coach.
The move came eight days after Marinelli visited Halas Hall. He also talked to the Seattle Seahawks about becoming their defensive coordinator, but that was ruled out and then he was left to choose between the Houston Texans, who wanted him as a line coach, and the Bears. He will be charged with re-working a group that underperformed at times last season. Specifically, the Bears need to get tackle Tommie Harris back to Pro Bowl form and the hope is Marinelli will be able to re-discover the success end Mark Anderson had as a rookie in 2006.
Marinelli was fired Dec. 29 after becoming the first head coach in league history to go 0-16 with the Detroit Lions. He's considered one of the premier teachers for linemen in the league, and worked as a line coach in Tampa Bay for 10 seasons.
This also makes it likely that Joe Barry, Marinelli's son-in-law, will come on board as the linebackers coach. Smith also must fill an opening for a secondary coach.
Check back later for more.