Matt Millen believes Rod Marinelli could succeed as head coach

Matt Millen has taken notice of Rod Marinelli’s work with the Chicago Bears this season, and Millen thinks Marinelli might be cut out for another head-coaching opportunity.

Yes, you read that write. Millen believes the man who coached the 0-16 Detroit Lions and compiled a 10-38 record in three seasons, could eventually be positioned for another opportunity.

The Bears have been one of the surprises – at least to some – in the NFL this season as they lead the NFC North at 8-3 and are in the hunt for the top seed in the conference. Their success has been due in large part to the best defense the team has played since going to Super Bowl XLI four years ago. Marinelli is in his first season as defensive coordinator after coach Lovie Smith talked him into taking the position.

Now, Millen has taken notice.

"I don't believe Rod's one of those guys who's always going to be a better assistant — I could have helped him a lot more than I did,'' Millen told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. "Head coaching is not only about coaching. You have to wear many different hats. It takes years to get a good staff in place. You have to coach your coaches.''

What’s interesting, though, is Millen told Haugh that the chance to pay attention to the little details as a coordinator has made Marinelli better, something a head coach can’t do as much or as well. The head coach is more of an administrator.

"Given the right circumstances, Rod could do well,'' Millen said. "I'll get dogged for saying that, but I don't care. I love that guy, and nobody who understands the type of man he is would doubt that he could be a good head coach again.''

Given Marinelli’s track record with the Lions, it’s unthinkable how a franchise would believe it could sell Marinelli to its fans. But there’s no question Marinelli has been excellent in his first foray as a play caller.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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