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Bears still considering Marinelli as defensive coordinator

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Chicago Bears have not ruled out making current defensive line coach and assistant head coach Rod Marinelli their defensive coordinator.

“Whatever Lovie needs, I’ll do,” Marinelli said. “If the field needs to be mowed, I’ll bring my hand-mower out. … There’s no job too small.”

Smith surrendered the play-calling duties after taking over for then-defensive coordinator Bob Babich following the 2008 season.

Smith and Marinelli had discussions the day before the Bears fired four offensive coaches, including offensive coordinator Ron Turner. Smith then interviewed Perry Fewell, who decided to become the Giants’ defensive coordinator rather than join the Bears.

The Bears seem to really be grasping for straws here. As their options decrease, the team might have to settle on Marinelli. At least Smith is familiar with Marinelli as they did both work together under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay from 1996-2000.


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The Bears have yet to hire coordinators

Here’s a disturbing nugget of truth for Chicago fans: It’s January 21 and the Bears still don’t have an offensive or defensive coordinator.

On January 5, the Bears fired offensive coordinator Ron Turner and dismissed rumors that assistant Rod Marinelli would be named the new defensive coordinator. But it’s been over two weeks now and the team has yet to find a coordinator for either side of the ball.

It’s not like the Bears haven’t been trying. They offered former Bills’ interim head coach Perry Fewell a contract, but he turned them down and accepted the Giants’ defensive coordinator job. With few reliable candidates left on the market, there’s a good chance that the Bears will re-visit the idea of making Marinelli the D-coordinator.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears will interview Chargers’ assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Given his success in Cleveland (albeit, it was only one year), Chudzinski would be a solid choice as the team’s next O-coordinator but the problem is that it seems like the Bears are flailing. Will Chudzinski maximize Jay Cutler’s strengths or is Chicago’s front office just trying to find anyone at this point?

The good news is that the team hired Mike Tice to become their new offensive line coach. While he failed as a head coach in Minnesota, Tice has also had success as an assistant and the Bears need someone with credibility to come in and revamp their underachieving O-line.

It’ll be interesting to see who the Bears wind up with and whether or not their lack of direction so far will come back to haunt them in 2010. Of course, many Chicago fans believe that with Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo running things, the Bears are doomed no matter what decisions they make.

Blogging the Bloggers: Wednesday

- With the Australian Open in full swing, THE LOVE OF SPORTS provides 10 reasons to watch the WTA. Ashley Harkleroad (right) is reason #10.

- Brooks of SPORTSbyBROOKS describes his experience at the Lakers/Cavs game on Monday night.

- Will Leitch of DEADSPIN gives his thoughts about the fact that his favorite NFL team — the Arizona Cardinals — has made the Super Bowl.

- How did Rod Marinelli get back at the Detroit press? PRO FOOTBALL TALK has the answer.

- Former dope dealer Kirk Radomski says that he has no doubt that Roger Clemens is “delusional.” DEADSPIN has the details.

Did Jason Whitlock just compare Matt Millen to O.J. Simpson?

Newspaper columnist Jason Whitlock is a bit miffed about NBC’s recent hire of former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen as their lead studio analyst for the NFL playoffs. And he wondered if O.J. Simpson was available from his Las Vegas jail cell.

Seriously, O.J. on “Football Night in America” is the only thing that could top Millen’s inclusion. And NBC is promising to foist Millen on its Super Bowl audience. If this happens, I will confront Millen and NBC executives at the Super Bowl and go Rob Parker-Rod Marinelli on the responsible parties.

Look, the Lions haven’t won a NFL championship in over 50 years, and Millen was in charge for only eight seasons. Though under his leadership, the Lions did own the NFL’s worst winning percentage (31-81, .277) and became the first team in league history not to win a road game in three consecutive seasons (2001-2003). And, of course, there was the whole 0-16 thing. At the core of this failure are some pretty bad drafts that included guys like quarterback Joey Harrington, and wide receivers Charles Rogers and Mike Williams.

Lion fans surely grew tired of Millen’s time as the team’s CEO, but I can’t imagine them longing for the Eric Hipple years.

Blogging the Bloggers: Thursday

- Don’t stereotype beautiful women! Tennessee cheerleader Melissa spends her Sunday’s rooting for the Titans, but during the week she has a full-time molecular neuroscience researcher working towards a career in medicine. [SPORTSbyBROOKS]

- THE BULL GATOR wonders if Urban Meyer will in fact leave Florida for Notre Dame. [THE BULL GATOR]

- FANHOUSE informs us that WNBA MVP Candace Parker is pregnant and might miss the WNBA season. It’s waaaaay too easy to make fun of the WNBA, so I’m just going to say congratulations to the happy couple. (She’s married to the Kings’ Shelden Williams.) [FANHOUSE]

- Rob Parker — the guy who asked Rod Marinelli if he wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator — explained his journalism philosophy. Profound stuff. [DEADSPIN]

- Apparently, having access to hundreds (or thousands?) of adoring UCLA co-eds isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Or so says former Bruin and current Laker Jordan Farmar, who is apparently oblivious to how dumb that’s going to sound to 99% of red-blooded American males. [SPORTSbyBROOKS]

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