One year removed from authoring a winless season in Detroit, former Lions coach Rod Marinelli could be moving back into the head-coaching on-deck circle.
We mentioned last night that we’ve heard Marinelli will be calling the defensive plays in 2010. According to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, Marinelli could be doing so not as assistant head coach/defensive line coach, but as defensive coordinator.
Per Haugh, Marinelli remained at Halas Hall on Monday after all assistant coaches were sent home, presumably to talk about his new duties.
Such a move would likely mean that defensive coordinator Bob Babich, whose contract is expiring, won’t be back.
But the development is more of a slap at Smith, who took the play-calling duties from Babich in 2008. Basically, the Bears are doing to Smith after the season what the Redskins did to former head coach Jim Zorn during the season. The difference? Instead, of giving the duties to a guy who previously was calling out “O-73,” Smith has been usurped (or, as Michael Scott would say, “uslurped”) by a guy who should have “0-16” tattooed on his forehead.
And speaking of areas of exposed skin, Vaugh McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports that former Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen, best known for being arrested days apart for drinking drunk while clothed and then sober while naked, was spotted at Halas Hall last week (we assume he was sober and clothed but, hell, who knows?). If Marinelli is bumped up to defensive coordinator, Cullen could replace Marinelli as defensive line coach.
And if Marinelli receives the promotion, it will be the first time he ever has served as a defensive coordinator at the NFL level. He coached the Tampa defensive line exclusively before becoming head coach of the Lions.