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Bears Visiting w/ Former Lions Coach Marinelli


Five days after chalking up his unprecedented 16th loss of the 2008 season and four days after being fired because of it, former Lions coach Rod Marinelli is sniffing around a possible new employment opportunity.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, Marinelli is visiting with the Bears.

“He’s just visiting,” Marinelli’s agent, Frank Bauer, told the Sun-Times. “Rod has a number of opportunities and he is seeing [head coach] Lovie [Smith] and they’re sitting down and talking. It’s a visit. . . . I just think Rod wanted to go up and take a look and see what they’re doing. He came off a tough situation in Detroit and we’re going to take our time. He and Lovie are very good friends, they’re best friends.”

Bauer also represents Smith, along with Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner and defensive coordinator Bob Babich.

Biggs writes that Marinelli’s potential capacity and title in Chicago are unknown. Our guess is that, in Chicago, he’d be the “assistant head coach/defensive line.”

Marinelli, who spent several years as Tampa’s defensive line coach before being hired by the Lions, never has worked as a defensive coordinator, due in part to the Buccaneers’ refusal to allow position coaches to accept jobs as coordinators with other teams.

Bauer and Marinelli likely will want to monitor the manner in which the dust settles with the various head-coaching jobs before making any final decisions about his next destination. Though it’s likely a long shot at best that he’ll be considered for head-coaching jobs, Marinelli could accelerate his timetable toward getting such an opportunity again if, for example, Rex Ryan leaves the Ravens and Marinelli becomes the coordinator there.

Also, don’t forget the whole Joe Barry angle. If Marinelli lands somewhere as a coordinator, he’ll have a greater likelihood of finding work for his daughter’s husband, who was the Lions’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

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