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Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli leaving, likely for Dallas

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will not return Bears. | Sun-Times

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will not return to the Bears. | Sun-Times

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Updated: January 18, 2013 9:28AM



The Marc Trestman and Lovie Smith coaching regimes already have one thing in common: Both head coaches wanted Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator when they were hired and couldn’t get him.

Trestman said Marinelli declined the opportunity to return as defensive coordinator after talking to him Thursday. Marinelli appears likely to wind up with the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive line coach for newly hired coordinator Monte Kiffin, whom he worked for in Tampa Bay.

‘‘I think in the end, he was looking for a transition,’’ Bears general manager Phil Emery said. ‘‘He felt he needed a fresh start and we needed a fresh start.’’

Secondary coach Jon Hoke, a prime candidate to be retained by Trestman, also might be a candidate for the defensive coordinator’s position.

HOUSE CLEANING: Hoke, defensive line coach Mike Phair and secondary coach Gil Byrd are the long remaining ‘‘transition’’ candidates left from Smith’s staff after the Bears announced that offensive coordinator Mike Tice and six other assistants would not be retained.

Also let go were quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, offensive line coach Tim Holt, wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, linebackers coach Bob Babich, tight ends coach MIke DeBoard and running backs coach Tim Spencer.

Trestman said CFL coaches could fill spots on his Bears staff. Pat Meyer, the Alouettes’ offensive coordinator and offensive line coach has been offered a position with the Bears, a league source said. Other likely candidates are Andy Bischoff, Trestman’s special teams/running backs coach and administrative assistant with the Alouettes; and Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich, a former offensive coordinator for Trestman with the Alouettes.

‘‘We haven’t locked it up because they may have other opportunities,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘But I would expect we’d have a few guys from the staff come south.’’

THE URLACHER QUESTION: Trestman was noncommittal about the future of linebacker Brian Urlacher, who will be a free agent. But he did not comment specifically about any player because he has yet to take a close look at personnel.

‘‘He exemplifies what being a Chicago Bear is all about,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘I recognize what he meant to this locker room and to the fans of the Chicago Bears. I need to be educated on [current players] and I can’t wait to get started.’’



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