Marinelli's Son-In-Law Could Be Next Bears Assistant

Deposed Lions defensive coordinator loves him some Lovie Smith

Since Bears GM Jerry Angelo's postseason press conference -- at which Angelo was unusually candid, even for him -- there's been no secret made of the love the Bears have for Rod Marinelli, former Lions coach and, as will always be tacked on to the end of his name, the first coach to go 0-16 in the history of professional football. (You know, for as much as we in Chicago complain, things could be a lot worse. 0-16, for example.) Anyway, it's likely the Bears will hire Marinelli to take a spot as a defensive line coach, Marinelli's original coaching calling card.

Ah, but the Chicago-Detroit connections don't end there. Marinelli's son-in-law, Joe Barry -- now-famous for having been the brunt of a bad sportswriter joke -- could be joining the Bears too, according to the Chicago Tribune:

"If I had an opportunity to work for Lovie Smith, I would cherish it," said Barry, who was fired as Detroit's defensive coordinator when Marinelli was dismissed as the Lions head coach. I have a relationship with coach Smith. I have a relationship with [general manager] Jerry Angelo. So if that was an opportunity, it would be something I definitely would be interested in."

This likely wouldn't be a conversation, except that the Bears fired linebacker coach Lloyd Lee yesterday, yet another of their terminated defensive staffers not named Bob Babich. That leaves the position open for Barry. (UPDATE: According to NBC reporter Peggy Kusinski, the Bears are staying mum on Barry's job chances.)

Of course, it feels more than a little unnatural to be inviting the former head coach and defensive coordinator of an 0-16 team onto one's staff, but it is important to distinguish between being a position coach -- a very focused, finite job -- and a head coach, who has to deal with every annoyance and nuance under the sun. Marinelli and Barry weren't very good at their old jobs. If the Bears hire them, let's hope they'll be good at their new ones.

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