Chicago Sun-Times

Defensive Coordinator Search is ... On?

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Coach Lovie Smith wants a defensive coordinator who buys into his cover-2 schemes. He needs somebody that doesn't mind working on a staff that includes the Bob Babich and Smith, who each tried unsuccessfully to coordinate the defense the past two seasons.

Then there's Rod Marinelli, the former Lions coach who has 34 years of coaching experience.

In other words, the team's new defensive coordinator won't lack experienced assistants who know the cover-2 inside out.

It's an interesting job to fill given the influence Smith, Babich and Marinelli will likely have. Suffice it to say, the new defensive coordinator won't have the same autonomy that recently acquired offensive coordinator Mike Martz will enjoy.

Former Chiefs coach and Smith protege Herm Edwards told me to be on the lookout for a younger, up-and-coming coach who wants to learn the cover-2 while adding "play-caller" on his resume.

Smith has hinted that he may fill the position in-house, which would likely mean that Marinelli would call defensive plays for the first time in his professional career.

Marinelli's job may be the most important on the staff without the extra responsibilities. He didn't make the desired impact last season. The defensive line is the key to the success of the defense, and perhaps even the team, and therefore allowing Marinelli to devote all his time and energy to lighting a fire under Tommie Harris, Mark Anderson and Marcus Harrison makes sense.

Colleague Sean Jensen made a case for Alan Williams the other day. The Colts' defensive backs coach knows the Tampa-2 and has done a fantastic job coaching up an Indianapolis secondary that has been plagued by injuries in recent years. He would be a solid candidate and Smith didn't rule out delaying the decision so he could interview Super Bowl coaches.

Because Babich does a good job coaching the linebackers, and Marinelli is reputed to be one of the league's best defensive line coaches, it's fitting that the new hire will be a secondary coach. The Bears could use some help in that area, from both a coaching and a personnel standpoint.

Stay tuned.

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7 Comments

I think it may be Williams.

If they wanted to promote Marinelli, they would have done it by now.

And being that it's two days before the Super Bowl, and that the rest of the staff is in place, there is no reason not to wait two days to look at Williams or any other candidate on the Colts or Saints.

I also doubt Jim Caldwell would block Williams, a young African American coach who is a protege of one of Lovie's dear friends.

He's exactly the type of guy Edwards is talking about.

And before you all start crying over experience, he has been a DB coach for eight years.

That's far more experience than the beloved Ron Rivera had.

Moreover, don't think a new coach can't have an impact on defense the first year.

See Rivera, Lovie Smith with the Rams, and Omar Epps with the Vikings.

Why not Jerry Gray, I keep hearing about williams and I don't doubt that he is talented, but Gray has been mentioned as a head coaching candidate twice the last few years ( The Redskins-Ron Rivera) and has secondary experience, he has worked with two solid d-coordiantors who are 4-3 oriented although not major cover-2 people in Gregg Williams and Greg Blatche and he would offer a different view to the defense while maintaing the same basic system...Just my opinion, but say this Alan Williams does not want to job who else is available other than Herm "retread" Edwards and Gray who fits the bill ????

hire the Colt coach. we've got enough ex tampa, ex ram coaches. and it is not necessary to have an ex bear. remember we have only been to 2 superbowls so enough of the "bear football" crap. lets get to "winning football" crap.

I know it is a longshot but for my money I would hope that Toub gets the position as defensive coordinator.

Harbaugh did it in Baltimore, moved way up the ladder to Head Coach.

Toub is the best coach on the Bears, he is a leader, his players are always motivated, he is creative and he would be one heck of a very good defensive coordinator.

Please note that at some point in the next few years if the Bears don't move on a good promotion with Toub another team in the NFL will, he is that well thought of within the NFL

Move now Lovie and Angelo, the prize is right in front of you.

Do it today!!

The thing I like about Williams is the safety thing.

I get it, the lines are the priority. I don't think the Bears will be a championship team without better play and players along the line of srimmage. They have got to have better line play on both sides of the ball.

That said, if I were to point my finger at one position it would be free safety. Big plays are just killing them. There are some good safety prospects this year, but they will be long gone when the Bears draft. They need somebody to either draft and develop a safety in the later rounds or turn on the light for Manning. Maybe both. Williams has done those things for Indy.

Lovie stated in an earlier interview that he would like the position filled by friday. That suggests he is looking at Marinelli. But he may wait till after the Super Bowl. By the way all that experience you mention Hayes, didn't help the eam this year.

Dahli its nice you mention Toub but Lovie won't move his golden goose. Toub should have been made a position coach by now. Special teams coaches are usually overlooked. Harbaugh was considered one of the best Special teams coaches in football but nobody would consider him for a head coaching job till he became a position coach for a year.

Barelybearable, Williams is a former Tampa coach.

Just remember while Angelo and Smith said they were on the same page for massive change, it was Lovie who also said he will not change the defensive system in their first press confrence about massive change.

Chi Gray was hired by the Seahawks as their new DB coach 3 weeks ago.

I missed that one Creighton thanks, seems as if it was a moot point anyway, just signed in and saw that Marinelli got the d-ccordinator job...so much for the new blood and interjection of energy to this year's team coching staff.....Now It's all or nothing for Lovie and the BEARS in 2010....

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 5, 2010 11:22 AM.

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