Chicago Sun-Times

Bears land Marinelli to reshape defensive line

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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.

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21 Comments

LOL! It's getting darker and darker and Lovie just keeps pulling the shades down, this time with Mr. 0-16 Reject on board, the Marty Booger of coaching.

Good move....if you're sailing on the Titanic!!

Please someone brainwash me into thinking this was a good move. Please!

Oh boy oh boy! Another close personal friend of Lovie's will be joining the coaching staff. And I'm 100% sure that if Rod doesn't work out, Lovie won't hesitate to give him the axe. Yup, cuz' that's how Lovie operates.

Honestly though, unless this clown's a surgeon, I'm not really sure how he's going to help Tommie Harris.

Well, it looks like Bob Babich will be 'media guide' def. coordinator and LB coach as NFL Network is reporting Joe Barry landed in Seattle as LB coach.

So, it seems Rod Marinelli 'real' def. coordinator will lead the Bears from the press box and Lovie Smith and Babich will make last minute and personnel decisions on the field.

What does his failure as a head coach have to do with his skills as a defensive line coach? By your guys' logic you would not have wanted Michael Jordan on your basketball team because of his failures as a baseball player.

This guy was proven as the best defensive line coach around, and did it successfully for 10 years. I highly doubt the guy forgot how to do it. So what if he had an 0-16 record as head coach of a team that didn't have a QB, O-Line, RB, Defense or Special teams.

ANYTHING is better than what we had...

this is a good move...

dick lebaugh is a prime example of what happens when someone just isnt cut out to be a head coach...

he flamed out in cinci went back to being what he was best at , a DC, and has had tons of success in pittsburgh...

the problem with the defense wasnt the calls or game plan(which is ALL babich is responsible for) it was lack or execution, lack of talent and lack of progression of talent...

all which marinelli would be responsible for on the DL...

people get up in arms because we hire position coaches from colleges so we hire a position coach with a decade of nfl success as a defensive line coach and you guys still complain

1985 all over again SUPERBOWL HERE WE COME.

Some of the comments posted on here just go to show how stupid a lot of the so-called Bears fan's are. Weasel your right, Coach Marinelli is a GREAT defensive line coach who brings with him terrific teaching skills and passion for the game. This is the first move of hopefully many more pertaining to the defensive side of the ball for us. Next let's welcome Albert Haynesworth and draft Safety Taylor Mays from USC. I know, one thing at a time.

It's a nice signing getting him as a line coach, but there are a couple problems. Angelo and Hot Rod were never really able to find an edge rusher in the draft while they were in Tampa and had problems generating a pass rush outside of Sapp. The Bears don't have Sapp or anything close to him and unless Angelo goes out and gets Peppers there will still be no edge rusher. The line in Tampa didn't get real nasty until Rice got there as a free agent.

Either way he should help the defense improve, however if Harris continues to slide then they are really up the creek. How many guys in there mid twenties need to sit out practice on a regular basis? His knee is garbage, if he can't train properly in the off-season he will continue his decline and no matter how much Rod screams at him it will not fix that. I also don't think Rod can make Alex Brown faster and Goon younger.

Whta really should worry people is that, what if this is all the Bears do to fix the defensive line. What if they believe this is the cure and they don't need any players. After all there is a lot of money on that line and Angelo may not want to throw more money at it. Just a thought.

Great Move!! One of the best line coaches in the league. Doesn't matter what his record was as a head coach, he is being hired as a D-line coach. Those are two different positions, morons.

Marinelli seems like the coach who won't coddle overpaid, overrated mega-millionaires. He's the perfect guy for our line. Adewale "The Prince" Ogunleye and Tommie Harris need a swift kick, and I think Marinelli is the guy to deliver it. Maybe he can teach Mark Anderson to play left end and turn Marcus Harrison into a solid nose tackle and then we won't need Ogunleye or Harris, both of whom could bring us something worth having via trade. This is going to help on so many levels. A guy like this is the difference between players like Dvoracek and Idonije winding up on the scrap heap after their contracts are up, or getting a nice four-year deal from Kansas City or maybe even Cleveland. I'm calling it right now, Alex Brown makes the Pro Bowl in 2009-10 and the Bears' sack total for next year triples to 15. Having Marinelli is good for an extra 1-2 wins a year automatically, although bringing back Babich probably lowers it by about 3 (in addition to having him in the first place, which lowers it by 3-4 right off the bat).

We've got great linebackers. If our front four gets a legitimate pass rush going, Briggs and Urlacher get to do what they're actually good at. Plus not giving the opposing QB eight seconds to throw should help make our sieve of a secondary look a little more respectable. Who knows, we might even slow runners down a little bit and let the pursuit guys make some hits and force some fumbles like we used to!

Hiring Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach is definitely an improvement, and making him assistant head coach hopefully means he'll have significant input into the defense. However, we should remember that this is Lovie Smith's defense as well as his team, and as long as he retains his conservative play-not-to-lose attitude, the underlying problem of the Bears playing back on their heels will remain.

Creighton your right, that would be my biggest concern also in them staying pat and not making additional moves to upgrade. But without the right adjustments in some fashion at the nose tackle position specifically, the phycicality and run stopping ability of this defense without crowding the box will not change. I certainly hope that this along with adding another edge rusher is priority #1.

Its sad to see your expectations so dumbed-down that you are celebrating the hiring of the former head coach of a team with the worst record in league history. Teams that really want to win hire Bill Parcells, Scott Pioli, etc. Teams that are happy with status quo hire Marinelli; and they won't change as long as the fans support failure.

ex-fan, how does hiring Bill Parcels who won't opt out of Miami or Scott Pioli fill an opening for a D-line coach ????

You have to live in the real world. Angelo isn't going anywhere, at least until his contract exspires in 2013 so Jerry will be in charge unless Ted Phillips grows a set and fires everyone on the staff....

That aint happenen so the addition of Marinelli to coach up one of the most underperforming araes on the Bears team is a plus, not a negative.

Like others here have said, you can't discount his success and credentials as a D-line coach because he had a bad rookie run as a head coach for one of the most disfunctional teams in the league with arguably the worste GM ever picking the talent that Marinelli had to work with.

I like the hiring of Rod except why not demote Babich to Linebackers Coach? exfan is correct, our expectations have been lowered simply bc the McCaskeys have lowered our standard. except I do like the hiring of Marinelli. I don't really believe as Creighton does as well our Dline can be fixed without a great DE. Adams,Harrison might? anchor the middle (Harris has lot to prove and I do not have faith in him right now) but Ogunleye has to go we need a great DE, and we have to rely on JA to draft him. Not a good situation. Especially with the smoKe JA is blowing about the QB. Yeah thats it JA have the entire offense be against your QB.

Def. Schemes vs Players
So if the schemes were alright then I guess EVERY defensive player we had should be let go? Wait a minute some of these same terrible D players were good enough for the Super Bowl but now it's all them? and not the scheme? The Linebackers/Corners were out of `good position' bc the scheme put them there not bc they were bad players. Tell a corner to play off your man and not bump him and he will be out of position every time. Same with Linebackers - tell your LB to huddle the line and it's impossible for them to cover passes, and they did squat as pass rushers as well! So they huddled the line bc the scheme told them to. (look at pass stats) Once again the scheme.
I do feel we need better players but the Scheme was at fault - look at the d... film! Look at Url out of position almost every single play! With your Middle Linebacker out of position AND your corners it's a little tough haveing a good D.
and guess what? Lovie must feel the same as he brought in an assistant head Coach who will be a Def line Coach, woah I can't WAIT! for that bomb to explode when Rod tells Babich he does not like the scheme Babich comes up with for that days game plan.lol
Thats funny Dennis! Babich lowers by 3 and Rod raises by 2. lolol - correct but funny

Bill Holland: "... Coach Marinelli is a GREAT defensive line coach who brings with him terrific teaching skills and passion for the game..."

Passion for the game? Really that's the qualification that makes him a "GREAT" defensive line coach. When Marinelli coached the Bucs d-line they had Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp ... two guys who excelled long before Rod and long after.

I think us "ignorant bear fans" would like to know exactly where his "passion for the game" and "terrific teaching skills" came into play when Detroit was ranked 32nd in defense for two straight seasons? You see us "ignorant bear fans" realize that he was labelled a "genius" which is quite easy when you have a couple Hall of Famers on your d-line, but question a guy whose latest claim to fame is a piss-poor defense and the magnanimous "oh-for" season.

This season will show what happens but us "ignorant bear fans" have more than a few reasons to DOUBT LOVIE SMITH and his cronies that DO NOT WORK OUT.

But of course, that's just an "ignorant bear fan's" concern.

btw
To everyone that said Warner was too old in these posts - ROLMAO! Woohoo! go old man!! Warner deserves this for all the crap he took from people like you the past several years. Did anyone notice the line protection? Awsome, and Warner did it w/o Boldin!

Also the people that said Rod would be hired in this capacity way back. Please tell me who we are going to draft this year. :)
Before Mike Mayock does the night before the draft.

GSH: "Great Move!! One of the best line coaches in the league. Doesn't matter what his record was as a head coach, he is being hired as a D-line coach. Those are two different positions, morons."

Thank you for your indepth analysis of Head Coach versus Defensive Line Coach. Could you enlighten us "morons" as to what MADE (see that is past tense verb there) "one of the best line coaches in the league." ... or are you parroting ESPN? KTHXBY

Regards,
Some ill-informed "moron" who watched Lovie fire every defensive position coach but retained HIS defensive coordiatnor Bob Babich and now wants to bring in another of his cronies

ps. I have trouble fitting my last name onto jerseysb.

BP in Zion. My example is an analogy, not a literal one. If the Bears really wanted to win (which they don't) they'd be in the running for the best, whoever it is, at whatever coaching slot or position. Obviously they are not.

As long as people buy tickets they never will.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 10, 2009 4:44 PM.

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