Chicago Sun-Times

Marinelli Promotion Completes Staff

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The Bears' long and often-criticized coaching search ended Friday with big changes on offense and a reshuffling of the defensive staff.

Veteran defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will assume the role of defensive coordinator that Bears' coach Lovie Smith vacated after last season. Despite 34 years of coaching experience, including 13 seasons in the NFL, this will be the first time the long-time defensive line coach has had play-calling duties.

"It's about understanding who your personnel is," former Kansas City coach Herm Edwards said when asked about the importance of play calling. "That you've called plays before doesn't make you successful. It's the old question: Who are the players? This isn't a video game. These are human beings. You see them every day in practice. You know their skill level and their opponents and you have to look at the game plans and say, 'I'd like to do this but we can't against these guys.' You can't be stubborn."

Eric Washington, who has been the team's defensive assistant/assistant defensive line coach the past two seasons, will move into Marinelli's old spot.

"Rod is among the best defensive coaches in the NFL and will be an excellent defensive coordinator for us," Smith said in a statement released by the team. "We considered outside possibilities, but I didn't feel our defense would benefit the same way it will with Rod in the coordinator role. From the first day I became head coach of the Chicago Bears I envisioned Rod as our defensive coordinator. I considered him for the role last year, but wanted him to have the opportunity to work exclusively with our defensive line and become acclimated to our team. He will remain in our defensive line room, but will add the responsibility of the defensive calls on game day." 

The team also announced that Shane Day had been named quarterbacks coach, which is a big promotion for Day, who goes from obscure assistant with the defensive-oriented 49ers to working with one of the NFL's most scrutinized quarterbacks.

The little-known Day, who has never held the title before, was the 49ers offensive quality control coach for the past three seasons. Before that, he was the quality control coach/assistant quarterbacks coach at Michigan for two seasons. In that role, he worked with the younger quarterbacks on the Wolverines staff.

Day earned the respect of recently hired Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz when they were both working in San Francisco in 2008. Martz is known for working very closely with his quarterbacks despite being responsible for the success of the entire offense.

Andrew Hayes-Stoker was named offensive quality control coach while Mikal Smith will have the same role on defense.

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i love it, Lovie smith couldnt find a puppet to hire as the Def Coordinator job so he just promoted a puppet. Didnt he already do this with Babich?

Ya baby only 1 more year of Lovie, Angelo, and company before we get some new blood.

WOW, Rod Marinelli, what a shocker ! Does Lovie have a brother-in-law who can coach QB's ? Perhaps a cousin who wants to be a GM ? Nothing new here folks, just warmed up leftovers. Of course, it will save the Bears organization MONEY when they finally run these clowns out of town after next years debaucle !

Does Lovie Smith have a brain tumor? He has to be the dumbest head coach in the NFL.

Hiring Friends : few million dollars from the Bears fans' pockets

Hiring Failures: another a few million dollar from the fans

Hiring (in 2009) then promoting (2010) own son : Priceless

Did you know as of 2007 only experience of Mikal Smith was at Trinity International University (a well known powerhouse)for one year?

Did you know daddy allowed him to sit down at Bears coach meetings starting then

Did you know he finally hired his baby-boy to staff as "assistant to the coach" in August 2009?

Did you know since baby-boy was so stellar, he got the promotion in less than a year just because of "merit"?

Bears are in a bad place and will be until Lovieitis is cured, but looks like Smitheitis is spreading in the organization...


Can you fellow Bears fans believe the never-ending incompetence of Lovie Smith? We didn't even wait to talk with any of the Super Bowl defensive personnel just 2- 3 days from now! I'm just ready to can such a huge and (formerly) proud market like Chicago have to put up with this B.S.??????????? Please, somebody help us make sense of these bone-headed decisions!

This will sound crazy but I think Chicago makes the playoffs.

1. Martz will elevate the offense.
2. The young receivers, Martz is right, AD, Hester, Knox, Bennet and Iglacias. If nothing else you will play if you are on the team at wr. Look at the Lions with Martz, Look at what he had. Roy Williams as the #1? Name one great reveiver on that team.
3. Urlacher is back
4. I'm hoping Chicago signs Julius Peppers. We need a pass rush and Tommy Harris has to go I'm sorry I like the guy but come on. Unless we find a way to motivate him to play cut him or trade him for a low pick to avoid the cap hit.

Yes, no real surprises here, but I'm more optimistic than the other bloggers. I honestly think Martz is going to have a positive effect on the whole team with an offense that can control the ball and at the same time make big plays downfield, giving the defensive line enough rest so that they are full-throttle when they get back in. I still have doubts about the defense generating a pass rush, but maybe Marinelli doing double duty coaching that and calling defensive plays will create clear understanding and manifest itself with everyone filling their gaps and not constantly getting burned when out of position.pdfy4p


Marinelli is the defensive coordinator? Are you joking me!?

This is the same doofus whose defense was ranked dead last two years in a row when he was head coach of the Lions.

This is the same loser who did the unheralded and went 0-16 with his aforementioned dead last defense. Oh and that defense was, of course, run by he and his brother-in-law even after ranking last the year before. It's called nepotism, folks.

And this is the same clown who "upgraded" our d-line with his sheer presence. Although I'm being sarcastic, roughly half of the Bears faithful swore that he did in fact work wonders with the line (*cough* braindead *cough*).

What exactly were the big changes our comatose "coach" was foreseeing? Check this quote out: "From the first day I became head coach of the Chicago Bears I envisioned Rod as our defensive coordinator." Wow, that's wonderful. Instead of reacting and adapting to the current team and its needs, Lovie's sole focus was to fulfill a wish of his from six years ago.

Sorry, this is not my team with Lovie Dovie calling the shots. I can't stand that dimwit. Go Browns.

I simply cannot beleive my eyes. This team talks about "change" and hires for DC the only coach in NFL history to go 0-16, That record alone should have barred him from John Madden Playstation, flag football, pee wee league, and anything remotely akin to a football. I cannot understand this move. Why not wait for the Super Bowl to end and go get a pick from a winning team. Lovie, you are absolutley ridiculous....Then you hire your son!!!!!! The only bright spot in all this is that after this year, you and the circus will leave Chicago. This will actually be the only time since I have been watching the Bears that I actually cheered against them. I will not cheer for the bears this year. I am going for each of their opponents....just so Lovie and the other stooges can be unemployed!!!!

Just what exactly are Mikhal Smith's qualifications, outside of being the son of Love Smith?

WOW - the nepotism thing in Chicago is EVERYWHERE.

I am sure that young Mikal will be a great coach, coming from such strong lineage as Lovie Smith, right?

This team and this organization are just PATHETIC.

we have the same staff the lions had right? go lions i mean bears

Sigh, Lovie you just don't learn, do you? Personally, I'm not surprised at all. Smith was a talented LBs coach and a solid DC when he came to Chicago in 2004, but success (which was as much his assisstants' as his), gave him an ego that was never there before. He has lost the aggressive conditioning he held his players to and the willingness to grow his football mind. He now believes himself to be justifiably in possession of influence that should never have been granted him. Angelo's reluctance to respect employer protocols have now cost him his job. Instead of holding Smith and himself accountable, he chose, time and time again, to defer to Lovie and not risk their friendship. Smith wants a lion's share of the input on defensive playcalling, not caring that fresh blood and ideas are vital to return to the old days of the Second Phase's glory. His stubborness to perish rather than change, is born not because of a lack of IQ, but a fear of being replaced or second banana to another in anything (even if it helps the team out). He has become a control freak and so, must be responsible for every decision or success. Nepotism and a closed mind are symptoms of these individuals. Case in point, his hiring of friends (Pep Hamilton QBs, Babich DC, and Marinelli DC) to positions where they are not fit for. And to hire his son, Malik, to a an assisstant job is too much, even for one of his former supporters to bear. Goodbye, Lovie and good luck in 2011 (may you relearn the humility you once had). Hello Bill Cowher!!!

Is it possible they can move up the lockout or suspended season from 2011 to next year? That way we can all save money and no one would have to watch this happen to our Bears.

This will turn out to be a great move because it will ensure that Lovie is gone after next season.

You know what I like about Lovie?

He doesn't care what any of you think.

And considering you want him to fail anyway, why should he?

Marinelli's the guy. Instead of hoping for doom and gloom, why don't some of you actually hope for the best and cheer on your supposed team?

I'm actually excited to see what they can do next season.

Marinelli as Defensive Coordinator, I think he will do fine although I wanted Toub instead.

I think Marinelli brings a load of qualifications to the table.
Many, many years of experience with the the Cover Two/Tampa Two defense. Briggs even said the scheme is good, Indy has done well with the scheme, (helps to have the best NFL QB).

Marinelli is a high integrity guy who despite having the worst talent in football kept the locker room during that 0-16 season.

Marinelli does create work ethic and discipline, which is what the whole defense needs.

Marinelli is known as a motivator, the players that have worked with the guy in the past swear they would go to battle with him.

Marinelli, has enough football expertise to ring up the playcalling for the defense. His many years of being a part of some pretty good defenses will benefit him in that regard.

Marinelli, will have a highly motivated defense next year which may surprise some people in a positive way.

Of all of the available candidates out there for defensive coordinator, Marinelli certainly is more qualified than most.

For 2010, gotta get somehow and from somewhere two positions resolved for the D to be in the top 10 in the NFL.

Free Safety and at least one stud defensive end or defensive tackle (either or), to get some pressure on the QB. A very good defensive tackle that could disrupt the interior of the line helps to create opportunities for the defensive ends to get to the QB or a defensive end that can beat the tackle and pressure the QB to break down the offense and help the corners/safeties in coverage/turnovers. Tommie Harris should be trade bait, that could get the Bears back that second round pick they lost or maybe would be part of a package to help to get Marshall to the Bears. Who knows, Tommie seems to me to be damaged goods albeit he played well the last few games this year.

As for Lovie, I am embarrased that the nepotism is allowed with the Bears and Lovie is the worst when it comes to favortism/nepotism. Lovie should have been fired this year for many reasons this being one reason. However, I do believe that the new coaching in town will improve the team and possibly save Lovie's job.

Just a small point of fact. Marinelli, Lovie and Babich all worked on the defensive game plan last year. Nothing has changed, they are just rotating the name to make it seem like they have made a change. They are doing the exact same thing they have been doing. Marinelli will continue to work with the D-Line, Babich will work with the LB's, Lovie will still be the head coach, but all three will continue to develop the game plan. All three wear headsets, Lovie will still call most of the plays just like he did with Babich.

Do you really think Lovie would give up play calling duty and defensive game planning to a guy who has never planned a game or called plays in a year where his job is at stake? Get real Rods a mouth piece. Even Fewell wouldn't come here and thats a friend of his.

Dahli Marinelli has never called plays so he is not exactly qualified. Just for the record he turned the job down a month ago, if anyone remembers his agents press release. He wants to coach the line, he is doing this out of frindship to Smith. Lovie is calling the shots make no mistake.


Good afternoon. You may be right about Lovie calling the plays, I am sure he will influence the weekly defensive game plan significantly but I would hope that he allows Marinelli to call the plays and be the defensive coordinator.

Something tells me that Briggs, Urlacher will help lead this team to a decent defensive season. I personally like Marinelli as a motivator and think he can help to motivate the entire defense.

Lovie couldn't motivate this team if his life depended on it, his job may depend on it. The last three years are examples of Lovie's lack of coaching and leadership abilities. Although, this coaching team he has now assembled either will crash and burn due to infighting etc or they will save Lovie's job because the team will play more inspired and produce more points than this last season.

Of course I wish for the team to have a great year but also hope that they get a new head coach. Both will not occur next year, one or the other.

By Larry Mayer on February 6, 2010 8:42 AM
"You know what I like about Lovie?

He doesn't care what any of you think.

And considering you want him to fail anyway, why should he?

Marinelli's the guy. Instead of hoping for doom and gloom, why don't some of you actually hope for the best and cheer on your supposed team?

I'm actually excited to see what they can do next season."

Larry, with all due respect, we've seen this BS three years in a row now. I know it's your job to put a positive spin on and everything and be all "Go Bears!" when we get blown out by so-so teams, but the rest of us aren't getting paid for that.

I want you to understand why not many people are jumping for joy over Marinelli. Please answer me this: If Marinelli got promoted to DC, don't you think he should have at least performed exceedingly well at his lower position of line coach before being promoted? Before you promote an employee to manager, don't you want to make sure they can handle their previous job first? And don't give me his history as a head coach. We all saw how that went.

Also, none of us want Lovie to fail for being Lovie. But he unfortunately has been failing for some time and so we want him gone.

This is a joke. Marinelli stated multiple times last year he just wanted to coach the DL and that was it. Every team in the NFL saw this situation for what it was.. a disaster. Lovie will only hire someone as the DC that wont go against his views. This whole Tampa/Rams coaching thing is enough. Hiring Martz wasnt all that big a deal to Dumb Lovie..thats O. Lovie's expertise (cough cough vomit) is D. Alan Williams from the Dolts woulda been a better pick. The Dolts altered the scheme of their D. Its been effective. Lovie wants 0 changes in his D. And does anyone think they will throw big $$$$ at Peppers to come here? 10 million a season?? The pass rush from the DE's is iffy at best. Add to that zero pressure from the DT's and you are gonna have very tried DB's at the end of the game. If the front 7 cant get pressure, the coverage will only hold for so long. Jesus Lovie, why are you so dead against change??!@?!?! How is it that a coach getting 5+ million a season can be this dumb? The McCaskeys are playing a dangerous game here.. This team has 5-11 all over it. Without an influx of talent we are doomed. Bad coaching and subpar players = weekly ass whooping. As we all witnessed multiple times this past season. Bottom line is this..if Lovie really wanted Marinelli to be the DC, it woulda happened instantly. Step up to the podium and say.. he has the ability and knowledge to do it. NOPE.. Once you got it through your 6 foot thick head that nobody was going to come to chicago and be your puppet DC, you hid behind the couch and hired your buddy. Lovie has failed at everything a HC is supposed to be.. Safe to say I wont be getting sunday ticket again next year. This is rediculous.

Hahaha!! Marinelli the Mannequin. I love it.

Every tree has a weak limb -- even the Tony Dungy coaching tree. The Bears gave the weakest limb on Tony Dungy's coaching tree five million dollars. And now that dead piece of wood has hired his buttbuddy who is best known for taking the Lions to a perfect 0-16 record. Nice job of scouring the NFL for a D-coordinator! Hire the doosch already onstaff. The past 41 years have mostly been tough to be a Bears fan. No mas! Be looking for everything I own that's blue and orange on Ebay!

First, I'm not Larry Mayer. I just don't see the point in wallowing in negativity. It's not healthy.

Second, why is Marinelli qualified? Few players understand the Tampa 2 -- the Bears defense -- better than Marinelli.He was one of the top D line coaches in Tampa. He knows the personnel. And, this year, even with all the injuries, the D line as a unit played much better.

Do I feel someone else should have been interviewed? Yes. But this was hardly a terrible hire.

Like it or not, the Bears run the Cover 2. And the Cover 2, contrary to popular opinion, still works in the NFL. Sans a bonehead move by Favre, Sunday's game would feature two teams that run Cover 2.

Marinelli knows the Cover 2. And he has been involved in defensive game plans for over a decade.

So yes, I'm cautiously optimistic that, with a few free agents and a healthy Urlacher, the defense will be fine next season.

Besides. I see no need to give myself an ulcer over a football team.

Look at next years Bears schedule and fine me more than 5 wins????????

done to the tune of the Robinsons robot:

Da Bears will win

Da Bears will win

Da Bears will win

Da Bears will win Da Bears will win

then (after 40 years of this) (2010 - 1985 is what...35?) all the robots lights will light and his head will spin in circles and he will say Da Bears won! Da Bears won!!

All cheer Da Bears! All cheer Da Bears!

geez stupid Robot (rabbit), wins (tricks) are for Colts (kids)

doh bears
bad math but the dates the same...after 40 years was the point cause it aint happenin in 2010

I really feel we need some better players not better Coaches, sure Ron Turner was terrible play caller and Martz has to be an upgrade, but when will we get better players??? when? Do you really feel a different D Coordinator could do better with this group?
Rod did not elevate the Line period. no question on that, so how will he elevate the entiore D??? right, but still we need better players. Rod couldnt turn a Probowler into a nonprowler, we dont have any probowlers, before and none now.

so if we get the great players guess what? Rod will be great, Martz will be great you really believe that Gaines was better than what we had?? Jerry is the one that holds the key to this team, by bringing in players that have the talent, not the potential of talent.


It has been 25 years since the SuperBowl, but that is still a quarter of a century.

Way too long.

Marinelli has expierience in the cover/tampa/chicago/whatever-2..ok fine. Thats great. It needs to be adjusted. Its been said that the Tampa version of the D works, but it requires a very talented front 4. We dont have it. Havent had it for several years. On paper it looks great, but it doenst work. Indy made adjustments and they are winning. They dont have the great front 4, but yet they "EVOLVED" and adjusted. No doubt Rivera made comments to Lovie that the scheme caused the loss in the super bowl. Continually dropping your LB's 8-10 yards deep gives the QB that easy 5-8 yard gain on the dump off to the RB. Heres an idea, Ty Warren wants out of NE. How bout that guy playing NT for us??? Im going to say the trip to the SB made Lovie and JA crazy. Suddenly they thought they were so smart and had all the answers. Since the loss to Indy in the SB, this team has self destructed. Caused by JA and Lovie. Allowing the horrific trades of Thomas Jones and Chris Harris...letting JA draft a DE and a LB in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of '07???? WTF JA??? We were stacked at both positions. How bout the OL you f*&^%*% moron? This supposed shakeup of the staff this year is pure BS smoke and mirrors. Yes Ron Turner wasnt all that great.. but he had a terrible OL, zero WR's and a banged up RB. The WR's developed, but talent wise the O was awful. They have allowed JA and Lovie to do one stupid thing after another without consequence. They have built an empire. If Cutler and the O develop..(Martz factor) and we somehow go 10-6, those idiots will remain employed. I have reached the limit here. I grew up in Chitown.. bled for Walter and Hampton during the playoff losses to the Skins.. spent big $$$$ on jerseys.. spent 300.00 this year on sunday ticket so those two clowns can parade around and say, "trust me"???? We have to stop buying merchandise.. stop going to games.. stop paying full price for a pre-season game.. In any other NFL market, those two woulda been run outa town. The media in Chicago sugar coats the hell out of those two. Time to call things for what they are.. We deserve better people.. We throw the money to that team.. time for someone to own up and do the proper thing. Who cares if a reporter makes Lovie or JA mad with a question.. your paper/tv-radio station pays your salary.. not the damn bears. Try watching a NY post game interview.. They call it like it is.

See the Saints pressure Manning - cause the int. and the Saints win?? why in the heii did we NOT PRESSURE MANNING! we woulda won too. Stupid bears d (I think Lovie said dont blitz)

Just a note after watching the game yesterday. The Colts in the early part of the game were causing all sorts of havoc in the passing game, and were solid against the run. Even with Freeney playing at probably no better than 80%.

But as the game wore on, and the Saints were able to sustain drives, the defense tired and started letting bigger plays happen. But overall, the Colts defense was pretty darn good throughout the season. They have a great pass rush when Freeney and Mathis are healthy, and after that, they have a bunch of average players behind them. Philip Wheeler, Clint Session, and Gary Brackett at LB, which is certainly not a great group by any stretch. I would expect we should be a lot better with Briggs, Urlacher, and whoever the third guy is. At CB, they have a couple of rookies/youngsters due to injury. Tillman, Bowman, and Graham should be better, and if nothing else, a lot more physical (if we didn't play off coverage all the time). Antoine Bethea has become a Pro Bowler at safety, but Melvin Bullitt is certainly no better than Danieal Manning. Bethea is better than anyone we have back there, but overall, we have a much better back 7 than the AFC conference champs do in the same defense.

The point I am trying to make I guess is that we can't seem to get the same performance out of our players. The goal line stuff early in the game by the Colts would never have happened with us. We would have crashed the middle, and lost contain, allowing the back to waltz in to the endzone. We are awful at lateral pursuit, which should be a strength of a small, fast defense. We can't stop screens, slants, or outs in the passing game. The aggressiveness of their corners is what we should be doing, so at least we don't go out with less than a whimper. This team needs to attack on the outside, and give the DL a chance to get there. By bailing off the line, opposing QBs have their choice of any number of routes and plays to make.

Marinelli needs to go back and watch some footage of the "glory days" of the Tampa 2, and watch how often the CBs disrupt the routes, or how often they jump the slant routes, taking it away. We do not do that at all. The true Tampa 2 is an attacking defense, that not only avoided giving up big plays, but aggressively went after the ball no matter where it was thrown or run. We only seem to be able to stop inside runs and long passes, and we don't even do that all that well...

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 5, 2010 3:46 PM.

Marinelli Promoted to Defensive Coordinator was the previous entry in this blog.

Holt Could Reunite With Martz in Chicago is the next entry in this blog.

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