Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
Former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is visting with the Cowboys at Valley Ranch today, and could be looking to reunite with Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, with whom he spent ten years on the Tampa Bay coaching staff.
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas is reporting that former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is interviewing with the Cowboys today at Valley Ranch.
It is believed that Marinelli could become the Cowboys' new defensive line coach. Marinelli worked together with new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin from 1996 to 2005 in Tampa Bay and that (together with what is probably going to be a very sizable paycheck) could be what would make Marinelli accept what initially looks like a demotion in Dallas. It's also possible that if any deal is struck, it could include the assistant Head Coach title for Marinelli.
The Chicago Sun Times writes that Marinelli's prime motivation for considering the job in Dallas probably isn't money or titles anyway:
Marinelli doesn't care about titles. Instead, his focus is more on friendship and being around those he cares about and those who care about him. That's why, despite his affinity for Bears players, he simply couldn't remain with a club that fired one of his dearest friends, Lovie Smith, who gave him a job after the debacle in Detroit as the Lions head coach.
Football Outsiders rated Marinelli's defense in Chicago the #1 defense in the NFL in 2012. And that ranking wasn't just a fluke due to a high number of takeaways. The Bears ranked fourth in both 2011 and 2010 under Marinelli as defensive coordinator, while ranking 21st in 2009 when Marinelli was the defensive line coach and not yet responsible for the entire defense.
Getting "Hot Rod" to help coach the 4-3 defense will certainly make the transition easier everyone in Dallas, and if he can continue the standard of defensive excellence we saw from him as DC in Chicago, so much the better.
Even Tony Dungy agrees:
“The big part of playing the defense this way is getting people who really, really believe in it. Because you have to sell it. You have to sell it to your group. And when you have other people that believe, that makes it easier,” Dungy said, citing Marinelli as a big believer in the Kiffin’s scheme. “That’s critical. I think if Monte could get Rod, it would be a big step toward that. Toward getting another guy who really believes in that way of doing it and selling it to the players.”