When the Bears were searching for a head coach, not only did they pass up defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli as a candidate but they put his future with the team in question. As a result, Marinelli rejected a one year extension from the Bears and will not be returning as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2013.
One of the first announcements new head coach Marc Trestman had to make was that Marinelli was indeed not coming back next season. Many had hoped that he’d stay on to provide continuity for an aging defense, but as Trestman said, that just isn’t the case.
“I had a chance to talk to Rod, and we had a good discussion,” Trestman said. “And we’ll begin the process of identifying those people that can be put in a position. But that’s a process I’ll begin to talk to (general manager Phil Emery) about once we move on today.”
The Bears defense was it’s only saving grace in 2012 but it wasn’t enough to help Chicago make the playoffs. After a hot start the Bears finished 10-6 and the collapse cost Lovie Smith his job as head coach. Chicago has always been a defensive minded team, but with the hiring of Trestman, the Bears are moving in a more offensive direction.
One of the most likely landing spots for Marinelli seems to be in Dallas, where he has strong ties with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Marinelli coached under Kiffin when the two were on Tony Dungy’s staff in Tampa Bay, eventually becoming an assistant coach with the Bucs.
As for the Bears, with an aged defense and no coordinator, it’s looking like we are about to see a whole new era of football in the Windy City.