Bears promote Marinelli to coordinator

Updated: February 5, 2010, 4:31 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears promoted Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator, the team announced Friday.

The team also hired Eric Washington as defensive line coach, Shane Day as quarterbacks coach, Andrew Hayes-Stoker as offensive quality control and Mikal Smith as defensive quality control.

Marinelli, who remains an assistant head coach, was in charge of the defensive line last season. The Bears' defensive front tied for ninth in the NFL with 24 sacks this season.

"Rod is among the best defensive coaches in the NFL, and will be an excellent defensive coordinator for us," head coach Lovie Smith said in a statement. "We considered outside possibilities, but I didn't feel our defense would benefit the same way it will with Rod in the coordinator role.

"From the first day I became head coach of the Chicago Bears, I envisioned Rod as our defensive coordinator. I considered him for the role last year, but wanted him to have the opportunity to work exclusively with our defensive line and become acclimated to our team. He will remain in our defensive line room, but will add the responsibility of the defensive calls on game day."

The Bears had set up an interview with Perry Fewell before he accepted the same position with the New York Giants.

"As I mentioned at the end of the season, I think we have an excellent defensive staff," Smith said. "Our position coaches bring a valuable expertise to their respective areas, and our defense evolves every year based on the input they bring to our planning meetings.

"We are excited to get to work, and we expect to play the type of disruptive defense we have been known for."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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