Is Lee’s firing bait for Marinelli?

January 7th, 2009 - 9:15 am

The Bears’ firing of linebackers coach Lloyd Lee on Tuesday may have had more to do with Rod Marinelli than any kind of failure on Lee’s part, although it was probably a combination of both.

Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo, both of whom have had a working relationship with Marinelli and remain close friends with him, spoke highly of the fired Detroit Lions coach and expressed their interest in him joining their staff.

But to get Marinelli, the Bears may need a package deal to lure him because he may be receiving better offers elsewhere, particularly in Seattle.

While head coach of the Lions, Marinelli’s defensive coordinator was his son-in-law, Joe Barry. Marinelli, if you recall, took exception to a Detroit reporter’s joke asking him if he had wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator.

Barry was the linebackers coach for Tampa Bay for six seasons prior to joining Detroit’s staff and Marinelli may be more enticed to join the Bears staff as defensive line coach and possibly assistant head coach if the Bears were to hire Barry as linebackers coach.

It could just be that the Bears wanted more production from the linebackers unit, but it’s quite possible the Bears are trying hard to bring in Marinelli.