Buccaneers should pursue Rod Marinelli

Christian Petersen

Rod Marinelli has left the Chicago Bears, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be hot on his tail.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired their defensive line coach Randy Melvin yesterday in a slightly surprising move, but one that makes sense: the defensive line has failed to execute basic stunts at an even elementary level and the Bucs simply have not been able to get the production they should be able to get out of their considerable talent along the defensive line. As we've been saying for four years now: getting a quality defensive line coach is key. The Bucs had one in 2011 in the form of Keith Millard, but they let him go along with every other coach when Raheem Morris was fired.

But now, the real deal has hit the market. Chicago defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has decided to leave the windy city after the hiring of Marc Trestman. This means the Buccaneers could go after Marinelli as a defensive line coach, and they certainly should, even if chances of success are slim. Marinelli was the Buccaneers' defensive line coach from 1996 to 2005, and he got some great production out of some stellar players, most notably Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice. Sapp even managed to win Defensive Player of the Year with Marinelli as his coach, and he parlayed that production into a role as Detriot head coach (where he, sadly, failed miserably). But he resurrected his career in Chicago as a defensive coordinator, producing dominant units in his three years with the team.

So here's what I would if I were the Buccaneers: I would offer him a very well-paying job as defensive line coach and assistant head coach. In fact, I might offer him the job as defensive coordinator, sacrificing Bill Sheridan in the process. Marinelli may have been groomed as a Tampa 2 coach, but his Chicago defenses were significantly more aggressive and did not run a base Cover 2, especially so the past season. It would be his priority to get the defensive line going and get the most out of that collection of talent, and that's certainly something he can do. Warren Sapp sings his praises at every opportunity, as does former Bucs DE Steve White.

Yes, Marinelli is likely to join his former boss Monte Kiffin in Dallas. That wouldn't prevent me from making a big push for his services, because Marinelli is a difference-maker as a defensive line coach. He is the one coach I would absolutely have to have on my coaching staff. Will this happen, though? Probably not -- but one can dream.

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