One of the coaches not on the Bears’ ever-expanding list of head coaching candidates is their current defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
According to a report by Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, that doesn’t mean Marinelli is without a future in Chicago. Pompei reports that Marinelli and other assistants from Lovie Smith’s final staff are still under contract and that there’s “a good chance” that the coordinator remains on the job.
As General Manager Phil Emery made clear at the press conference announcing Smith’s ouster that defense has not been the problem in Chicago, a point he’s underlined by compiling a list of candidates that skews heavily to the offensive side of the ball. With a good defense in place, it’s not hard to see an offensive-minded coach choosing to leave things as they are on that side of the ball for the time being while they concentrate on ways to put more points on the board. Pompei also points out Marinelli’s head-coaching experience could be of value to a first-time head coach, should the Bears wind up going in that direction, but also writes that no one would likely stand in the way of wholesale changes to the staff.
Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, who has a long relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall, is also mentioned as an assistant who could remain with the team under a new head coach.