The Rod Marinelli hiring equates to one thing and one thing only: arrogance. By promoting a coach from the staff of one of the worst defenses in the history of this organization, Lovie Smith has announced that the troubles of the 2009 campaign were not his own. He is passing the buck of recent failures. He has operated with the mix of stubborness and delusion that has come to define his tenure with the Chicago Bears. This is not an unintelligent decision by a coach who has lost his way. This is a deliberate, calculated maneuver by an individual desperate to stand behind media microphones for his “I told you so” moment.
Marinelli certainly earned a promotion, didn’t he? The rush defense was one of the league’s ten worst and defensive line was about as intimidating as a pigeon on the yard at Riker’s Island. (With the definitive exception of Alex Brown, a man whose motor and intensity should be an inspiration to the other ten men on that side of the ball.) I don’t have the kind of job that takes place in an office and requires slacks but I can’t imagine this is how promotions work.
The Bears offense struggled with turnovers from the quarterback and run blocking from the offensive line. For those two issues – both specific player issues – the offensive coordinator was fired and a new system has been instituted. The Bears defense – in scheme, play-calling and performance – was a disaster. For those issues, a member of the staff has been rewarded. Say this paragraph aloud and you’ll be calling DirecTV to cancel before sundown.
Lovie has his chance. Sixteen games (most likely). He’s decided if he’s going down swinging, he’s going down with his friends at his side. I just wish his friends were better football coaches.