We connected with the agent for new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, Frank Bauer, and he's excited about the situation.
Imagine that. Bauer also represents head coach Lovie Smith, offensive coordinator Ron Turner and defensive coordinator Bob Babich.
But Bauer has reason to be feeling good about this. It's a pairing that makes sense. The Bears got the best defensive line coach available to coach the scheme that he knows best.
Bauer said that Marinelli was specific in saying he did not want to be a defensive coordinator, a key reason why he dropped out of the running in Seattle. His goal was to return to his roots as a line coach and become a teacher again while holding the title of assistant head coach, something that will make Marinelli the second-highest paid Bears' coach behind Smith.
"He had a lot of clubs chasing him,'' Bauer said. "But he knows these guys inside and out and that's where he wanted to be.''
Marinelli chose the Bears over the Houston Texans, who also offered him a job as defensive line coach, and Tampa Bay called Bauer on Saturday. The head coach of one of the remaining playoff teams also called, Bauer said, and asked Marinelli to wait until his team's season was over to listen to overtures.
"It was tough for Rod on Friday,'' Bauer said. "I told him to sleep on it. Rod was like a franchise player without the tag on him. He's just got no ego. He said he wanted to help Lovie get back to the Super Bowl. He didn't want to be a coordinator. He took a lot of hits in Detroit. He took every mortar shell in the chest. And he never blamed anyone else and that's why people love him. You're going to see a difference, a big difference.
"He called me at 9:30 [Saturday] morning and said I want to be in Chicago. Ted [Phillips] and I worked it out real quick.
"Being a head coach, you can't coach the line. He said, `I want to go back to what I do best.' That's what he is doing here. A lot of coaches can say they know this system, but none of them know it like him. Tampa called about him. It was tough with the back-and-forth but he made the right decision.''
Marinelli first visited the Bears Jan. 2 but contract talks did not start until this week. He is signed for three years, through 2011 like Smith. Now, the Bears must find a linebackers and secondary coach.