Chicago Sun-Times

Brick headed to bayou; coach expected to join LSU staff

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Now it appears there are two positions for Lovie Smith to fill on his coaching staff. Our cohort Mike Mulligan reports that Brick Haley will accept an offer to become the defensive line coach at LSU making for a nice, tidy exit for him. A web site devoted to following athletics at the school also says Haley is in the door in Baton Rouge. An official announcement could come from the school later today.

The position might not be open long. Smith is expected to add former Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli to his staff. The two met Friday at Halas Hall and things could fall in place quickly.

Haley played for new LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis at Alabama A&M in the mid-1980's, and the two share the same agent. He will be the second line coach to leave Smith's staff and head to LSU. Karl Dunbar made the same move but was with the Tigers for just a season as he then got back into the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.

Smith is seeking to find his fourth defensive backs coach in six years, and when Haley departs he'll be looking for his fourth line coach in the same span. Of course, that search isn't expected to take long with Marinelli on the horizon. So far, the only official move with the Bears' coaching staff has been the firing of defensive backs coach Steve Wilks, which was announced last week. Wilks told the Sun-Times he is weighing options and his first choice is to remain in the NFL.

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Good riddence! Take the rest of the staff with you!!

Let me get this straight, Dunbar leaves the Bears as D line coach and has the Vikings D line playing fantastic. Rivera gets fired by Lovie and has the Chargers playing great defense. Lovie loses 3 Defensive backs coach while the Bears still have a weak secondary. Leslie Frazier has the Vikings defense #1 and Singletary has the niners on the up and up. Jeff Fischer has the Titans in the Playoffs and the #1 seed in the AFC. Boy have Angelo and McCaskets made some great coaching decisions.

I dont even want to think about all the former Bears in the Playoffs

Okay, with Brick Haley going back to college and taking a position with LSU, Rod Marinelli seems to be in line to be brought in as DL coach and asst. head coach. And, he'll be assisted by Eric Washington (defensive asst.) with the DL. Washington coached Luis Castillo and Barry Cofield at NU

Since, Bob Babich hasn't been fired or demoted, my guess is he'll be laterally moved to LB coach and will be the 'on-field' defensive asst. head coach (as Babich always seemed to want to be on the field during games) with Marinelli being the 'coaches box' defensive asst. head coach. And, look for both of them to work with Lovie in calling out he defensive strategies and calls. Though, I believe Marinelli will have final say 80% of the time, Lovie 19% of the time, and Babich 1% of the time.

Babich may not be laterally moved or demoted in public, but I believe Lovie will call his 'restructuring of the defense' as the thing which puts our team in position to be a better team.

Next, I predict Lloyd Lee (LB coach) will be moved to the secondary and work with Gil Byrd. Lloyd previously worked with the 'nickel backs' before becoming LB coach after Babich was named def, coordinator.

Now, here are some areas of concern with me:

- QB coach Pep Hamilton and his ability to work with Kyle Orton,
Caleb Hanie, and a 'soon-to-be-acquired' veteran QB. And, wouldn't
a veteran QB coach or former head coach be better suited as QB
coach and asst. offfensive coordinator?

- WR coach Darryl Drake and his asst. Charles London: neither has
been able to get receivers to get a cushion on routes, coming
back to the ball, teach holding on and catching the ball
correctly (especially catching with their hands and not letting
the ball hit their pads first), and blocking on run plays.

Both may be spared because of the lack of a #1 WR and Lovie is
loyal to his coaches and will give them a benefit of the doubt.
(Though, Mushin Muhammad may have been right by saying the Bears
are where WRs go to die or something along those lines.)

- Strength & Conditioning coach Rusty Jones and his asst. Jim
Arthur: the Bears had a lot of injuries the last two years and
lost 6 of 7 games after leading. Were the Bears properly
conditioned? Did they tire? Also, the defensive seemed to be
pushed around and 'manhandled', were they given the right
instruction in strength training.

And, on an individual basis, did both monitor Mike Brown's
problem of cramping and did this play a large part into his
injured calf and/or Achilles heel? And, what about Tommie Harris'
conditioning and Brian Urlacher's strength after neck surgery and
his chronic back problems?

It seems to me, after the defense is addressed, this areas need to be as well.

I can't believe the Bears are keeping Bob Babich.

Are the Bears really keeping Bob Babich?


Dave Toub is the only coach worth keeping.

i think im starting to see a pattern here...of coaches the bears had during the 05 and 06 seasons departing on their own accord due to the success of the bears defense. Bears fans are so quick to rake people over the coals claiming that we run all coaches away and they seem to want to leave on their own...Which would not only indicate that bu and large lovie and JA have done a servicable job finding coaches but have helped those same coaches further their careers which is a GOOD thing...

once again im not a lovie a realist...

but by being apart of the 05 and 06 defenses has gotten frazier and rivera on the cusp of being nfl head coaches

you cant only look at the misses (byrd, babich etc) and not mention the hits (johnson, frazier, rivera etc etc)

can we afford mike martz?

What a great time to clean out the whole coaching and hire some exciting young coaches and put them on incentives for winning! Lovie should be coaching texas

You guys still suck, will always suck, and used to suck!! At least we have the brains to fire our defense coordinator when he sucks. You guys are trapped in suckiness until Lovie and his country club are gone!!!

To Walter 'Butch' Brzeski:

You wrote a very thoughtful piece on the Bears coaching staff. I agree with it. I have been on many of these Bears message boards pointing out that "all is not lost". I believe that. But I also things need to change and the disconnect between the scouts selections and the coaches developing them is our major weakness. I think the OL coach (I forget his name) did a great job with next to nothing on the line. (The players on the OL did much better than what was expected of them.) Still that is the only unit -- outside of the ST -- that played above average. Orton did well early on and then had a major regression. Was it the foot or poor coaching or just poor play? Still your post was about the coaches and only the coaches and I have brought in the player's performance.

But I did want to say what a nice a refreshing comment on this board.

Brick Haley probably seen the writing on the wall, especially with Marinelli's little visit on friday, Haley probably decided to jet before he got the axe. First Wilks, now Haley are gone, but I thought for sure Bob Babich was going to be out of town also, I was wrong. None the less, I can still see Bob Babich being on a short leash going into next season, if the defense continues to flop, Babich probably gets the hook, and Marinelli will then get the nod at defensive coordinator, although, by then, it will probably be to little to late for the entire coaching staff.

Even as a die hard Bear fan, I'll admit, Lovie Smith and his staff are on the hot seat going into 2009, with that being said, I will still support Lovie Smith and his staff, and would like to see them turn this thing around. Im a Chicago Bears fan, Lovie Smith is my coach, and Bob Babich is still the Bears defensive coordinator, again, hopefully they can get this thing right in 2009.

As far as Rod Marinelli is concerned, I say bring him in, he can't hurt. As a defensive line coach, Marinelli is still a proven commodity. Yeah, in Tampa he had Warren Sapp, in Chicago he will have 3 time pro bowler Tommie Harris. Toward the end of the season, Harris was getting back to pro bowl form, obviously with the pro bowl invite as a first team alternate, I think that knee still bothered Harris early in the season, the better Harris knee got, the better his play got. With Tommie Harris, Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, Anthony Adams, and young and upcoming defensive tackle Marcus Harrison, Marinelli has some tools to work with. All Chicago needs, as far as the front four, is an edge rusher. If Chicago does hire Marinelli as the defensive line coach, Im sure he will have some say on draft day when Chicago should nab a pass rusher, be it George Selvie, Greg Hardy, Everette Brown, or maybe Michael Johnson, one of these DE needs to be a Bear come april. Hopefully with a young pass rusher, Harris & co, and Marinelli, the Bears can get back on track to being a good defense GO BEARS!!

`Don't forget Rivera wanted to bring Leslie Frazier to Chicago, but the move was rejected by Smith. Frazier, another former Bears player, is now the defensive coordinator in Minnesota and will be interviewing for head-coaching jobs'

I was not aware of this fact, that is really bad!
Lovie needs to be held accountable, and to justincreedible, I believe that Ron did not leave for an upscale in job position he recently got the same job title, that would seem to put a hole in your theory, and Frazier wasn't even hired after Ron wanted him, another hole in your theory, get it yet? It's Lovie's problem not success.
And we as Fans have paid a huge price! you go again coming on our site to get real football analysis and discussion, but your quote that you submitted...." You guys still suck, will always suck, and used to suck!! At least we have the brains to fire our defense coordinator when he sucks. You guys are trapped in suckiness until Lovie and his country club are gone!!!" nothing but bitterness, we may have some problems with some of Lovie's coaches but no one on this site has a problem with the way he's been kicking your azz for the past three years....the pack is wishing we get rid of Lovie so they could get some wins in the series....ani't happening next year buddy, get ready for more BEAR tracks on your cheeseheads next season....the Pack has more problems than us deal with your own putrid scum and leave us alone......

Most of the comments pretty darn good except for the nimrod from Green Bay. Still think that Lovie should be let go because he does not do well with surrounding himself with talent, too much cronyism. Also, I really do not feel the Bears are as prepared as many of the elite teams when they play games, the halftime adjustments just do not seem to happen and the Bears are too predictable on both sides of the ball. Did you see the creativity of the Philly D and Baltimore D that was how the Bears used to be, now more milk toast than substance.

As for fudge packer, pull your head out of your ars and realize you are a scum. Maybe you should worry about who the Packers should fire like your coach and Thompson (what an idiot) By the way how did the Slackers do this year 5-11 WOW great job. Nice slide from 13-3

The pack won't even whiff the playoffs next year!!

dahlillama: Don't worry about the Green Bay person. Hell, most Packers fans are named Bob and Barb, wear flannel shirts (or Favre jerseys) year-round, and all look-a-like from the cheese and beer bloating them up.

Plus, their favorite holiday is always Halloween, when it's legal in Wisconsin for one day to 'Pump-kin'. Though, most think it's good to do all year.

And, if the Quackers are so great, why is this person posting on Bears board?

there is no theory

the problem with chicago fans they always need someone to shake a fist at.

for every issue that lovie and his staff have had...he and his staff had successes that need to and should be addressed...

making lovie looking like he runs every coach right out the door is just silly...some of them left on their own accord for what they viewed as a better job...

thats not a theory

thats a fact

dont let your dissapointment about the bears cloud your unbiased judgement

I agree with dissapointment but not cloud, as look at the `better job' - That was not with the Bears, what does that tell you? That the Chargers/Vikings were better jobs? Exactly.
Facts are facts
The Chargers got Ron we did not
The Vikings got Frazier we did not
Both D are better than ours
If you consider success to be not reaching the Super Bowl and downgrading the Defense then you are correct, but the goal is the SuperBowl and improvement every year, which the Bears have not accomplished.

going to a different team for a promotion doesnt say anything about the bears...

position coaches do that all the time...

sometimes they suck and are told to kick rocks (terry shea)

sometimes they suck and stick around for whatever reason (bob babich)

sometimes they are ok and could use improvement but arent thr worst (r. turner)

but lets not act like theres a mass exodus from the bears because either they suck so bad or lovie runs them off...

the fact remains that some coaches have been promoted and lovie has said from day one he wants that, likes that and is a reciepient of the same exact practice...

thats the over the top fist shaking


That was a pretty good one about Green Bay and its fans.

Back to the Bears. Lovie took a superbowl team to 7-9 and 9-7 records the last two years. The D has sucked for two years, yes Babich should absolutely go but why should Lovie be kept.

This years team should have been at the worst 11-5 and in the playoffs. I can count at least 4 blown games, win two of those and the team is 11-5, wins the division and hosts a playoff game. The Bears need new blood and some coaching that can get it done.

and they need players who can execute very specific performing a squib or onside kick correctly. Or knowing with 11 secs left in a game you dont bite on the inside move in the cover 2 defense or ANY defense for that matter...

everyone is so quick to fire this coach fire that coach bring in this coach and people forget that the players have to if you want to say thats a direct reflection of coaching or lack will get no arguement from me...but all i read is lovie, JA, babich, turner etc etc...with hardly any onus on the players

the players are mostly either bad, bad and ouchy, or never given a chance to see the field...blame the last one on lovie...but bad players are just bad players...


Your mom called and it's nap time. Quit playing doctor with Kimpossible and pay attention.

Since the 06 Super Bowl run, Babich has been at the helm of a defense that has seen a major drop-off in productivity and consistency.

The players do have to take some blame, yes. The Bears have had some injuries, yes. However, numbers don't lie. This group of defenders had significantly more success under a different coordinator.

And to all of you talking about Rivera leaving for greener pastures -- I thought the guy was run out of town by Lovie? No?

no need for insults...

of course Babich is to take some blame...that goes w/o saying

and if he were told to kick rocks i wouldnt be upset or prefer that lovie bring someone who wont be a yes man like babich (which is why i like marinelli, hes a real stand up guy)

but the players need to execute...if it were 100% scheme id agree with you 100%...but when the players dont execute it...thats on the player...

the problem with bears fans it seems is that we focus on 1 or 2 central characters and never see the big picture...

everyone is to blame...EVERYONE...not just lovie or JA or Babich...but the players as well...EVERYONE...

im not tossing everything at the feet of the players im tossing them into the same lump of BAD that was this season...and they deserve it

justincredible: I feel ya Man, a lot of fans are frustrated and not seeing all the issues at hand, I see even you feel that the job Babich has done has not been acceptable, but you wisely point out that the players on the field are not what they used to be, on one hand maybe we should see how great a coach Lovie is for being able to get these guys to a SuperBowl 2 yrs agao, if you check around the league most personnel people do not feel the BEARS have a lot of talent, someone posted about how Brian is not even viewed as a Pro Bowl caliber player anymore, remember BEARS fans we went to a Super Bowl with REX as the QB, Rivera was supposed to be hired as a head coach for two yrs in a row before he left and to date still has not been hired as a head man...BEARS need to make changes this off-season all teams do, we lost games this year that should have been in the Win column and kept us from the playoffs, but the venom being displayed by some fans is over the top in my opinion. We spend a lot of time over analyzing the teams problems that we forget to see the successes....Beekman at Guard very serviceable, Harrison at DTackle nice find by Angelo, same with Bowman who I think will really help the team next season, Orton played well enough to keep us in contention for a spot all season. We have holes to fill on the field and the sideline, but I was happy when all is said and done with having a shot at the playoffs on the last day of the season, we still need better players, specifically playmakers to replace those who are getting hurt (Mike Brown), underachieving (Anderson), and getting older (#54)....All is not lost, but I will say Lovie has to get this thing straightened out soon or his job will be in on the hot seat....I sure don't miss Wannsteadt, Jauron, other former Bear coaches, look how long it took Jeff Fisher to get the Titans turned around after there Super Bowl trip, it is easier to get there than it is to stay, and most teams that do stay have both the coach and the players.....Pats, Colts, Pitt, Giants to name a few

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 5, 2009 12:42 AM.

Bears' opportunity to move up in draft remains alive was the previous entry in this blog.

UPDATED: Hot Rod? Marinelli talking to Seahawks is the next entry in this blog.

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