Chicago Sun-Times

Hot Rod: Marinelli makes a stop in Houston

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The Rod Marinelli NFL Tour continues.

The ex-Detroit Lions coach is meeting with the Houston Texans today, per the Houston Chronicle.

The Texans are the second team Marinelli has met with since coming to Halas Hall last Friday and talking with Lovie Smith about joining the Bears' staff. He was in Seattle on Monday and is a candidate to become the defensive coordinator there.

Houston has an opening for a defensive coordinator as well as a line coach, the position he would be expected to fill for the Bears. The Texans fired defensive coordinator Richard Smith, line coach Jethro Franklin and secondary coach Jon Hoke after an 8-8 finish.

Lovie Smith needs to fill three positions on his coaching staff as line coach Brick Haley, linebackers coach Lloyd Lee and secondary coach Steve Wilks have all been sent packing. Marinelli could come in a package deal with son-in-law Joe Barry and fill two spots. Barry followed the path of Lovie Smith as a linebackers coach in Tampa Bay.

It's unknown at this point what kind of timetable Marinelli has to make a decision. Right now, it looks like he could have his choice of being a coordinator in Seattle where he knows two men in the front office--Tim Ruskell and Ruston Webster--well, being a coordinator in Houston, or coming to work with someone agent Frank Bauer called his "best friend" in Lovie Smith. There's the possibility of bringing Barry to the Bears, too, and Barry has a very close relationship with tight ends coach Rob Boras.

Stay tuned to see if there is another stop on the tour or if Marinelli will make a decision soon.

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8 Comments

The evolution of Lovie's staff is really kind of interesting to me. The first generation seemed to me like a "who's left?" bunch. Smith was hired really late in the process and the list of assistants was picked over by the time he was finally hired and could look for a staff. Some of those did pretty well (Rivera, Toub), and some really stunk up the place (Shea).

The next generation seemed to be the "my guys" bunch. He went in and gave his old cronies like Bullet Bob major elevations in responsibility and probably pay. He also used the better timing to recruit some better choices like Rusty Jones and Ron Turner.

Now we hit the third generation. After the super bowl it looked like being an assistant on the Bears was a nice resume item and a punched ticket to a better job. One more good year and......Whoops!!! Now Lovie is having vacancies because guys are getting dumped, not because they are ladder climbing. This next bunch is being recruited to come in and right the ship.

What will be really interesting is the "next" generation. It will be either be to replace assistants who have moved on to bigger and better things, ...... or it will be another "first" generation for somebody unlikely to be named Lovie.

This is like watching a movie where you've seen the crash occur but you're watching it a second time with your friends but in slow motion and you just can't wait for it to finish. I pray to God that we fire Babich and don't hire Marinelli because from what I saw I don't feel that we fans should struggle with anymore of Lovies friends at the helm. I would love for Rod to be on another team and for us to have competant deciders on the team. I'm tired of these scumbags who are here due to aquaintence rather than experience. I want another team to have an 0-16 fella on their squad, but all we fans can do is hope, pray, and keep every joint in our bodies crossed in hopes that the RIGHT choices will be made for the sake of winning. GO BEARS!

Or option 4, coming to the Bears as an assistant head coach, and defensive line coach. It would work similar to Washington when Greg Blache was listed as the defensive coordinator, but Gregg Williams (assistant head coach) was the real defensive coordinator. That way he doesn't have to demote Babich, but you have Marinelli there as a game planner and works with our front line, and between he and Babich, we end up with an aggressive and disciplined defense.

If we miss on Marinelli and he goes elsewhere, they had better be on the phone quickly to get someone else in here.

Babich has not done anything to warrant keeping his job, but admitting that he was not cut out for the job not only makes Lovie and JA look like poor judges of coaches, but also places a big dead albatross around their necks with each game that Rivera's defense plays in San Diego the rest of the postseason.

Here's to hoping...

Mirinelli would come BECAUSE of experience...

he was easily the best DL coach in the NFL b4 the Lions came a knocking

the fact that he knows lovie has little to nothing to do with the decision to try and bring him on

the decision to retain Babich and fire position coaches says that the people who had the most contact with the players werent doing their job...All babich does is call plays...its up to the position coaches to make sure that players are doing the right things and are in the right spots...

they failed at that time and time again...they were incredibly over their head and need to be replaced with position coaches who have nfl experience.

if that doesnt change the problems with the defense then its obviously the decline of the players and falls squarely at the feet of JA for poor drafting and internal talent evaluation.

there are tons of teams who play versions of the cover-2 and they do it successfully. the difference between those teams and the bears for the past 2 seasons is either the inability to coach it properly or the inability of the players to execute it.

the moves that have been made make perfect sense to me and i agree with it entirely.

i wouldnt be opposed to babich getting told to kick rocks but i understand why he hasnt been...yet...

this is the off season of reckoning...we will learn alot about JA, Lovie and his staff and the players...

Yeah babich just calls the plays thats all he does...

And thank the stars that Lee, Haley, and Wilks are gone because now we'll get back to the big show for sure! But first we need to hire Marenelli's family! Does that include the baby sitter too?

Justincredible, I am not sure what power you think Lovie has or has not but he picks his position coaches, Angelo basically has the contracts drawn up. I am glad however that you understand why they have made all the moves they have made. Firing Rivera was a very smart move and premoting Babich was also a moment of enlightenment for Lovie.

Joe F, please tell me you are not saying that while Babich should be fired, it's good that Angelo and Lovie don't fire him so they won't look bad? Is that rally the way o build a winning team? I am not sure which is worse keeping a guy that stinks up the place so you don't look bad even though everyone thinks you look bad or lacking the ability to pick and hire coaching talent in a job that requires you to do that and keeping your job. Ahh, I've got it Joe, fire all three Loosers and start by hiring Pioli as the new GM. Lovie will have to stay on a year, but Babich can get the can this year as well as Angelo. Lots of coaching talent in the market this year and Cowher is waiting till next year, I wonder why? I will tell you why. DA BEARS! Then again I know none of this will ever happen. Anytime the President of a football team has to hire a company to find a GM cause he knows little to nothing about football and the result is Angelo. Well lets just say I think I found were the paddle got shuved when the Bears decided to go up the creek in the there canoe.

The only way I see Angelo stiking around after next season is if he pulls off the Chuck Noll 1974 draft and with Lovie helping him with those picks I don't see that happening. I don't see Pioli or Cowher comming here either so what does that leave the Bears? Nada, as usual.

Here is a question about Rod everyone says he was a great line coach in Tampa. Has he ever duplicated the feat anyplace else? Not to mention has he ever been a DC? The answer is no, he was a one hit wonder line coach for 9 years on the same team. It doesn't really matter though, other teams are offering him more money that the Bears and a better job. Besides I really don't want that leech he calls a son-in-law comming here with him. The defense was the worst defense in the nfl under that clown, thanks but no thanks. Wait change that I hope team 0-16 comes here just to prove how stupid Lovie and Angelo are again.

Creighton,
Not saying it is good, but it will be less of a blow to their egos. Certainly not ideal, but trying to get inside the heads of people like JA and Lovie is like trying to understand what the Teletubbies are saying....just not productive. I would love to see a whole new brain trust in here, because it would be the first brain trust since Papa Bear passed away. But Pioli will be in KC by next week, and there is no guarantee that there are any other game changers out there. We are stuck with our existing staff for at least another year, and they are going to show their ability (or lack thereof) once again. The question I have is whether McCaskey and Phillips have the stones to can Angelo and Lovie for this mess. I think they do not.

i dont see the need for insults (the play on my s/n)


but think about this for a second...what do the OC and DC do actually?

they gameplan and make the playcalls...they are technicians...who has the most contact with the players in practice and in games? the position coaches...when they go off the field the players break into groups with their position coaches...when they watch film they watch it with their position coach...they have meetings with their position coach. THOSE are the teachers...the ones who do the grunt work...the ones who are supposed to say "hey marcus hamilton dont bite on the inside move take away the sidelines" or "hey Daniel Manning...we are playing cover-2 when peanut releases the WR you pick him up"

and they either are not capable of doing that or the players are just bad(which says something about JA and Lovie's player evaulation skills)

i mean daniell manning felt he was getting so LITTLE from his position coach that he had to get personal instruction and teaching from the head coach...if that isnt an indication of the quality of the position coaches i dont know what is...and that falls at the feet of lovie...which he is correcting...now what he does to correct it will show me if hes learned anything and as grown as a head coach...

i dont have a problem with position coaches with proven nfl track records coming here...i dont want marinelli as my DC because it would change nothing...they would make the same calls

what kills me is that along with the firing of ron rivera there was turnover at several key postional coaching spots...namely dunbar on the line, babbich going to LB coach to DC and the DB coach being gone as well...

doesnt that strike you as odd? babbich called more blitzes than any other team in the nfl including chico...in the big picture i dont see him as the problem as much as players being unprepared and not able to do things that basic nfl defenses should be able to do...thats the fault of the position coaches and Lovie for hiring them...

more times often than not on big plays i saw bad fundamentals and player mental lapses more than i saw bad play calls (on defense). now thats either because the same players from 06 got bad and dumb or the constant turnover in positional coaches, and the inexperience of the ones higher lead to stunted player development...

we will find out which one it is this yr...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 8, 2009 1:10 PM.

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