ALLEN PARK -- Lions insider Mike Fowler has learned that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli has been selected by president and general manager Matt Millen to succeed Steve Mariucci as head coach of the team.
The Detroit Lions have announced a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday morning, where it is expected Marinelli will be introduced as the team's next head coach.
Marinelli, 56, was a virtual unknown to most casual observers of the NFL, but was well regarded by insiders with knowledge of the top assistant coaches.
The 10-year NFL veteran coach was highly sought after for defensive coordinator openings around the league, most notably in Chicago were new coach Lovie Smith took the Bucs to task for reneging on what he felt was an agreement to allow Marinelli to join his staff.
In Marinelli, Detroit is getting a coach who is known as on of the finest teachers in football and who has a reputation for being demanding, but fair with his players.
Marinelli spent Tuesday and Wednesday here, having his second interview with Millen.
The new Lions head coach may raid his former boss' staff for assistant coaches. One coach that might be on Marinelli's short list is offensive line coach Bill Muir. Muir's contract expires at the end of the month as does that of running backs coach Art Valero.
More intriguing to Lions fans? Will Marinelli also move to fix Detroit's QB situation by selling likely free agent Brian Griese on a return to his old collegiate stomping grounds in Motown?
Griese, like current Lions starter Joey Harrington has a huge bump up in salary to nearly $7 million. With youngsters Chris Simms, Tim Rattay and Luke McCown on the Tampa Bay roster, the former Michigan standout might be expendable.