Why Rod Marinelli may draw interest for Bears DC job originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears have their head coach and GM in place, so now it’s time to turn our attention to the rest of the front office and coaching staff hires. Plenty of names have been floated since Matt Eberflus was hired, but one name in particular may be more familiar than the others for both Bears fans and Eberflus: Rod Marinelli.
Marinelli worked on Lovie Smith’s staff in Chicago from 2009-2012, first as assistant head coach/defensive line coach, then assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. He also worked alongside Eberflus in Dallas from 2013-2017. Over that time, Eberflus was the Cowboys linebackers coach, and later their defensive passing game coordinator. Meanwhile, Marinelli again started as a defensive line coach, and was quickly promoted to defensive coordinator. In fact, Eberflus’ use of “loafs” when grading players’ effort on every play is something he reportedly learned from Marinelli, and it’s a term that Smith used, as well.
Many legendary Bears alums hope that a Marinelli return to Halas Hall comes to fruition, too.
“I'm a huge Rod Marinelli fan,” said Olin Kreutz on the Under Center Podcast. “He's tough. If he says that a guy can coach, if he puts his word behind somebody, that usually means this guy is the real deal, right?
“If Rod Marinelli gets here, he’ll have (Robert Quinn) running up the field. He’s going to be a terror on that end, oh yeah.”
Quinn got his start in the NFL as a defensive end, and enjoyed some of his best success rushing the passer with his hand in the dirt. The same can be said for Khalil Mack. That’s exactly what each man would do in Eberflus’ 4-3 defense, and Marinelli would support that transition as well.
Marinelli currently works as the Raiders defensive line coach. As a unit the Raiders ranked in the middle of the pack in sacks. But defensive end Yannick Ngakoue notched 10 sacks, with fellow DE Maxx Crosby chipping in eight sacks.
Whether or not Eberflus brings in Marinelli, the Bears defense is likely to resemble the defense Smith put together during his tenure as head coach. Question now is, just how similar?