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Marinelli Interviews With Bears

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 5, 2009 3:45PM

2009_01_marinelli.jpg After a 9-7 season and no trip to the playoffs, the Chicago Bears are certainly looking to improve. But can hiring the former head coach from the first NFL team to ever go 0-16 possibly help? Rod Marinelli, fired by Detroit after their debacle of a season, was seen at Halas Hall over the weekend where he apparently interviewed for a job with the Bears.

Marinelli's specialty is on the defensive side of the ball, an area where the Bears need improvement. Prior to taking the helm in Detroit, he served as the defensive line coach and assistant head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During Marinelli's time in Tampa, he helped the likes of Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice become perennial Pro Bowl selections. And, of course, Lovie Smith was his fellow defensive assistant for a number of years on that staff while Jerry Angelo was the Bucs' director of player personnel during the beginning of Marinelli's time with the organization.

So was Marinelli's visit to Halas Hall simply a professional courtesy for an old friend and colleague? After all, under his watch the Lions did have a defense that allowed a league-worst 32.3 points/game in 2008. (The Bears' 21.9 points allowed was exactly middle of the pack in the NFL.) The Bears claim that Marinelli's hiring is not imminent, though current defensive line coach Brick Haley has been mentioned as a possible addition to LSU's coaching staff. Is Marinelli interviewing to he his replacement? Perhaps the Bears could do worse, and maybe someone with Marinelli's defensive credentials could put some heat on defensive coordinator Bob Babich, as well.