Bears GM Phil Emery passed over Bruce Arians and drove out Rod Marinelli, per report
The Bears reportedly let defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli interview candidates during their last head coaching search, then drove him to resign after passing over his first choice, Bruce Arians.
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery was fired Monday for several reasons — primary among them, being the man who hired deposed head coach Marc Trestman and made questionable personnel decisions like giving Jay Cutler an exorbitant contract. Now you can add driving out defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to the list.
According to CSN Chicago’s John Mullin, Emery tasked Marinelli with interviewing head coaching candidates after Emery fired Lovie Smith at the end of the 2012 season. Marinelli reportedly narrowed down three choices in this order: 1) current Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who Mullins said was the “runaway” first choice 2) Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and 3) Trestman, who was a distant third.
Emery chose Trestman, and that did not sit well with Marinelli. Arians went on to lead the Cardinals to 10-6 and 11-5 records, narrowly missing the playoffs in 2013 before leading Arizona back to the postseason this year. The Bears went 8-8 then 5-11 under Trestman.
When he learned of the decision, Marinelli abruptly angrily resigned and left Halas Hall for Dallas and a de facto demotion to defensive line coach.
The problems did not end with Marinelli’s exit. The exact level of Emery’s involvement below the head-coaching job is unclear. With Marinelli gone, however, Emery was involved in hiring Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator and Joe DeCamillis.
Tucker didn’t pan out in Chicago. The Bears fell from fifth in total defense during Smith’s and Marinelli’s final year in Chicago, to 30th in 2013 and 2014. According to Mullin, Tucker’s tenure as defensive coordinator was torpedoed, in part, by the mistrust sewn by how Emery treated Smith and Marinelli.
Tucker remains one of the few people who have yet to be let go by the Bears. Emery and Trestman were fired Monday, but not before offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who disparaged Cutler anonymously to media during the season. The Bears will also reportedly be stripping CEO and president Ted Phillips of influence over decisions that could affect the on-field product.
The Bears have already hired a consultant, former NFL GM Ernie Accorsi, to help with their coaching and GM searches. The organization is expected to give Accorsi’s opinion significant weight, something they seemingly didn’t give to Marinelli, leading to some of the dysfunction we saw this past season.