Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 8, 2009
Could Marinelli to the Raiders work?

How's this for your next Raiders defensive coordinator or defensive line coach:

Rod Marinelli.

Yes, he just led the Detroit Lions to a 0-16 season.

And true, he comes from the Tony Dungy coaching tree, meaning he's fond of the Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

But Marinelli is popular not that he is unemployed. He's in Houston today and has already spoken with Seattle and Chicago.

Marinelli was a candidate for the Raiders head-coaching job in 2006 before the team went with Art Shell.

The Raiders' best in-house candidate to be the new defensive coordinator, linebackers coach Don Martindale, could bolt for Cleveland or another job rather than wait and hope to get a promotion from the Raiders.

Defensive line coach Keith Millard's contract is up and based on what other Raider coaches are doing, he could be on his way to more stable employment.

And Marinelli, who has been around talented defenders as the defensive line coach in Tampa with Dungy and later Jon Gruden, could be intrigued by the opportunity to see if he can push the likes of Tommy Kelly and Derrick Burgess to new levels.

Former Raider Warren Sapp always spoke highly of Marinelli and how he found ways to motivate, challenge and help defensive linemen improve.

Most consider the fiasco that led to the Lions going winless to be Matt Millen's fault so Marinelli's reputation as a leader appears to be in good standing.

But I guess finding a head coach should be the priority.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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