Rod Marinelli joined the Chicago Bears as a defensive line coach Saturday, returning to his roots after becoming the NFL’s first head coach to post an 0-16 season.
Marinelli went 10-38 in three years with the Detroit 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.
Marinelli will also serve as the Bears’ assistant head coach. He held that title his last four seasons in Tampa.
Marinelli’s hiring in Chicago didn’t come as a surprise. He and Bears coach Lovie Smith are friends who worked together with the Bucs. Chicago tried to hire him as defensive coordinator in 2004, but Tampa Bay blocked the Bears. Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo had said he’d like to hire Marinelli after he was fired in Detroit.