Chicago Sun-Times

Wilks' wild ride goes from Tampa Bay to San Diego

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Steve Wilks might not ever have another job interview like he did Friday.

The former Bears' defensive backs coach was in Tampa interviewing to replace Raheem Norris as their secondary coach, and Wilks was flying back to Chicago when the ax fell at One Buc Place and coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were fired. Norris, who had been promoted to defensive coordinator, is expected to be the next Bucs coach and could extend an offer to Wilks.

But Wilks could be close to landing a job elsewhere. He will travel to San Diego today where he will interview with coach Norv Turner and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to be the Chargers' defensive backs coach. San Diego has an opening after Bill Bradley was one of four assistants let go on Tuesday.

Wilks worked under Rivera in 2006, his first season with the Bears. He is given credit for the development of cornerback Corey Graham this past season and the success Trumaine McBride had as a rookie in 2007 when he started nine games. Wilks, who is considered a strong communicator, said after his dismissal from the Bears that he hoped to remain in the NFL. He made stops at eight colleges from 1995 through 2005 before replacing Perry Fewell with the Bears.

Wilks is one of three coaches that were let go. Defensive line coach Brick Haley already accepted a job coaching the same position at LSU. Former linebackers coach Lloyd Lee is seeking work.

*** As much as others have glowed about Rod Marinelli and what he can bring to the Bears' defensive line, it was Marinelli's turn to beam about working with tackle Tommie Harris. That's what he did in a story on the club's Web site by Larry Mayer.

"Tommie is special,'' Marinelli said. "That's what you've got to have at the 'under tackle,' and you've got good ends here and a couple guys that can go in and play that nose position. I see a guy that can disrupt a game. This defense is about the under tackle. He's the engine that drives the front, and the front's got to drive it all."

*** Here's a look at the final list of underclassmen who have committed for the NFL draft. Agents can begin contacting underclassmen on Monday.

*** The East-West Shrine game will be on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. There are some names in this game you'll be hearing again during the combine. Here's one review of some of the action from earlier this week.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 17, 2009 6:28 AM.

Four Down Territory, Jan. 17: Will Bears address needs on offensive line? was the previous entry in this blog.

Peppers looking to bolt Carolina; beware buying a pass rusher is the next entry in this blog.

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