Rod Marinelli doesn’t need the credit or accolades anymore. He’s earned respect as a defensive coordinator and will never get another shot at being a head coach.
So Marinelli, 69, has been effusive in his praise of Kris Richard, while letting the team’s defensive passing game coordinator share the reins.
Richard remains a candidate for the Dolphins’ head coaching job, but Marinelli said he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Richard from leaving.
“I’ve always looked at my responsibility being No. 1, how do we make our defense the best? Not what’s best for me, what’s best for the defense?” Marinelli said. “Each guy brought something special to the table I felt, that I really liked. We worked really well together. One of my other jobs, that I really believe in, is to help develop men to go out and lead organizations. That’s important to me. Then they’ll be able to contribute faster to what we’re at when they’ve got that ownership. You see it. Both of these guys, [Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus] Flu and him. You can see it. And that’s what I want.”
The Texans promoted Mike Vrabel to defensive coordinator in 2017 and made Romeo Crennel the assistant head coach. But that was to keep Vrabel from leaving for another defensive coordinator job. Vrabel became the Titans’ head coach a year ago, with Crennel moving back into the defensive coordinator role with the Texans this season.
The Cowboys can’t do much if the Dolphins offer Richard their head coaching job. They could offer him more money and the title of defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator, but it’s not a head coaching job.
If Richard wants to become a head coach and believes he can win in Miami, then he should go.
But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (and Bill Parcells) convinced Sean Payton to remain in Dallas in 2004 instead of going to the Raiders as a head coach. Deciding Oakland wasn’t the right fit, Payton finally left the Cowboys in 2006 for the Saints job.
“To me, [Richard] is a head coach; he just hasn’t been hired yet,” Marinelli said. “But he is a head coach. That’s what he is. He’s a head coach. We’re just waiting for him to get the right job.”