Jets will have competition for Marinelli

The leading candidate for the Jets vacant defensive coordinator job seems to be Tampa Bay defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.<p>

However, the Jets could have competition for his services. From what we hear, Marinelli is very close for St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, who is a being considered for a number of head coaching vacancies around the league. The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears and New York Giants have all expressed an interest in Smith. So it's possible Marinelli will wait to see if Smith lands a head coaching job before he makes a decision. Also remember, if Smith gets the Falcons or Bears job, Marinelli also has other contacts in those organizations. Both Falcons GM Rich McKay, and his counterpart with the Bears, Jerry Angelo, spent a long-time in the Buccaneers front office, and have strong relationships with Marinelli.

Another issue could be whether Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden will let Marinelli walk. Remember the Buccaneers promoted Marinelli a couple of years ago to assistant head coach to stave off teams like the Jets and Indianapolis Colts from stealing him. Gruden and his defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin are huge fans of Marinelli, and don't want him to leave. Marinelli is considered by many to be best defensive line coach in football. "Gruden loves Rod," said one source close to the Buccaneers. "He is a phenomenal defensive line coach."

Another factor that could possible keep Marinelli in Tampa Bay is that fact that his son-in-law, Joe Barry, is the Buccaneer's linebacker coach.

Marinelli has instrumental in the development of defensive linemen of Warren Sapp, Anthony "Booger" McFarland, and Simeon Rice. He was a Vietnam veteran, and is a truly a drill sergeant, who has a history of getting the most out of his players. He is just the type of fiery coach the Jets defense could use. The Jets former defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and line coach Rubin Carter are both laid-back types. They both good coaches, but rarely raise their voices. Many 300-pound defensive linemen have a tendency to take downs off, but Marinelli's charges rarely have because of his amazing motivational skills.

"He is an ass-kicker," said the Buccaneer source. The source thinks that the production of the Jets defensive line would go up appreciable if Marinelli came to town.

"If the Jets got him, there sack total would shoot up," said the source. "He will get the most out of Ellis and Abraham. The work ethic of the Tampa Bay defensive line is incredible. He got the most any has out of Simeon Rice."

Rice is a similar type player to Abraham, and the source thinks that Marinelli would probably want to keep him at end. The Jets are thinking of moving Abraham to linebacker to help keep him healthy.

If the Jets can't get Marinelli, Gregg Williams would be an excellent choice.. He was a superb defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans before landing the Buffalo Bills head coaching job. The job Williams did with the Titans defense was a big reason they went to the Super Bowl in 2001. If the Jets landed him, it would be a tremendous hire. He is one of the best defensive minds in the game, and while the Bills didn't have a great record this past season, their defense was one of the better units in football.

Reprinting this story is illegal, and violators are subject to legal action.

Jets Insider Top Stories