Marinelli to coach Bears' D-line

Updated: January 11, 2009, 10:12 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Former Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli agreed Saturday to be the assistant head coach and defensive line coach of the Chicago Bears.

Marinelli selected the Bears over the Texans and the Seahawks. Though several teams wanted him as a defensive coordinator, Marinelli wanted to only coach along the line, which is his specialty.

Lions fire Marinelli

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After the first 0-16 season in NFL history, the Detroit Lions parted ways with coach Rod Marinelli.

In selecting the Bears, he joins one of his best friends in the business, Bears coach Lovie Smith. They worked together in Tampa Bay.

Marinelli eliminated the Seahawks from consideration late in the week. He picked the Bears over the Texans Saturday.

Marinelli went 10-38 in three years with the Lions and was fired after failing to win a game this season. But before that, he was Tampa Bay's defensive line coach for a decade. The Buccaneers' line racked up 328.5 sacks under Marinelli, the most in the league during that span.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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