Marinelli may remain Bears' defensive coordinator
Other key assistants could be back too
By Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune reporter
10:06 p.m. CST, January 7, 2013
Last year the Bears decided to replace general manager Jerry Angelo but retain head coach Lovie Smith.
This year there are indications they could follow a similar path on a different level of the organizational flow chart.
A good chance exists the team will hire a new head coach but retain defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and possibly other key assistants, according to those with knowledge of the situation.
Marinelli and the other assistant coaches from Smith's staff remain under contract, and the Bears are not allowing them to interview for other coaching vacancies. The reason is there is a chance the Bears will want to retain them.
It will depend mostly on the desires of the new head coach. If the candidate the team settles on wants a different defensive coordinator, it is unlikely anyone will stand in his way.
But it is clear Marinelli is highly regarded by the organization.
Retaining Marinelli would enable the Bears to keep their defensive system intact, which could help the Bears stay competitive in the near future. It also might make the team more interested in retaining free-agent-to-be linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Marinelli is one of the most highly regarded assistants in the league because of his abilities as a defensive line tutor, motivator and strategist. If the Bears hire a young head coach, or an inexperienced head coach, Marinelli would provide another benefit because he has head-coaching experience and could be an adviser of sorts.
If Marinelli is retained, he and the new head coach could decide to retain other defensive assistants from Smith's staff.
Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates also remains a possibility to return because of his connection with Jay Cutler.
The interview process kept humming along Monday, when Bears general manager Phil Emery interviewed Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman in Chicago, according to ESPN Cleveland. Trestman also was reportedly speaking with the Browns about their head coaching vacancy.
Other interviews are expected to take place this week, including Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, as well as Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements on Thursday.
Two more names popped up late Monday night. Former Bears linebacker and 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, currently a Vikings assistant, is expected to interview with Emery. It is believed Singletary's inclusion comes at the suggestion of the McCaskey family, led by Chairman George McCaskey. The other candidate also comes from the Vikings: well-regarded special teams coach Mike Priefer.
Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was released from a Baltimore hospital Monday and is likely to interview soon as well.
Some of the candidates the Bears are interested in, especially Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, might be in greater demand after Oregon coach Chip Kelly informed teams he would not take an NFL job this year.
Chicago Bears: Rod Marinelli may remain Bears' defensive coordinator - chicagotribune.com