Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marinelli - moving up by stepping back

Rod Marinelli will be joining the Chicago Bears as an assistant and defensive line coach. Marinelli was the defensive line coach in Tampa before becoming the head coach of the hapless Detroit Lions. I think this is going to be an outstanding move for Marinelli and the Bears.

It is a step back. Coach Marinelli went from being a head coach to a line coach. But, I think it makes perfect sense. Marinelli is a defensive line specialist - he knows how to motivate, how to teach, how to coach and how to manage this position. I believe he is a very intelligent person who was in over his head as head coach. He was hamstrung by a GM who didn't know anything about football and a VP who didn't know anything about measuring talent to put together a winning team. While it is impossible to coach a team to the only 0-16 season in NFL history and not take some of the blame, he is hardly the only culprit, and likely not the major one.

Coach Marinelli is moving forward. He has changed to a position that he knows as well as anyone in the league and is inheriting talent that is massive, though the players' heart and guidance are in question. This is where Marinelli should thrive.

As a Lions fan, I see it as a given that there be a change in the coaching position - the entire team needs an overhaul. But while I see that, I know that it makes little sense to harbor much ill will for Rod Marinelli, who was a victim of one of the most incompetent Matt Millens in NFL history. Because of that, I wish him very well in his new position, except for the two times each year the Bears play the Lions, of course.

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