Assistant Coach Hunt Begins

Not much was known about Rod Marinelli, that is, until yesterday when Marinelli revealed much about himself and his background. Marinelli also gave some insight into possible assistant coaching candidates when we talked yesterday. Here's a look at some of the men Marinelli may tab:

ALLEN PARK - Not much was known about Rod Marinelli, that is, until yesterday when Marinelli revealed much about himself and his background. Marinelli also gave some insight into possible assistant coaching candidates when we talked yesterday. Here's a look at some of the men Marinelli may tab:

DEFENSE:

Joe Barry, linebackers coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Likely position: Defensive coordinator.

Barry said he and Marinelli have often dreamed of the day when the two would be united as head coach and defensive coordinator. "I've got to go through some channels," Marinelli said when asked about Barry as a possible defensive coordinator.

"I appreciate Joe Barry, he is a great football coach and a very talented football coach." Sources in Tampa say the Bucs might release Barry if Marinelli keeps his hands off Tampa's offensive assistants.
Chances: Likely.

Mike Waufle, defensive line coach, New York Giants

Likely position, defensive line coach, defensive coordinator.

Waufle, a former Marine and Marinelli, a Vietnam veteran, have been long time friends since their days together at Utah State. Waufle maintains the reputation of being a teacher first, yet demanding with attention to detail. Having coached the position himself, there are few coaches that would live up to Marinelli's demanding standards. Waufle is one of them. New York would have to give permission for Waufle to make a lateral move. If Barry isn't available, Barry might tab Waufle as a defensive coordinator candidate.
Chances: Good.

Donnie Henderson, former defensive coordinator, New York Jets

Likely position: defensive coordinator

Henderson, who was a candidate for the Jets head coaching job that went to Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, was informed yesterday that he will not be retained. A hard-charging firebrand, Henderson is a tremendous talent who might keep the chair warm for a season until Barry would be available. Henderson will likely be a hot candidate for a head coaching job again next season, despite the fact that he didn't receive a position this year.
Chances: Possible.

Kent Baer, former defensive coordinator, Notre Dame

Likely position: linebackers coach

Baer and Marinelli go back to their days at Utah State under head coach Bruce Synder and remain close. Baer might be getting tired of the endless recruiting that goes with the job of being a collegiate coach and with Allen Park just up the road from South Bend, he might be ready to head back to the NFL. Chances: 50-50.

Lloyd Lee, quality control, Chicago Bears

Likely position, secondary coach

A former NFL safety with the San Diego Chargers, Lee was a scout with Tampa Bay and earned his stripes the old fashioned way, with hard work. Lee got his first head coaching job with Dungy as a quality control coach. He could be in line for a similar position here if not a move up to coaching defensive backs.
Chances: Good.

OFFENSE:

Terry Shea, quarterbacks coach, Kansas City Chiefs

Likely position: Offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach

Shea and Marinelli also date back to their days at Utah State. That staff was very tight knit and if the Lions had acted a little bit sooner, they might have been able to secure another member of the staff, Al Saunders, newly named Washington Redskins offensive coordinator. With a new head coach coming aboard, Shea might be allowed to pursue other interests.
Chances: Good.

Clyde Christensen, wide receivers coach, Indianapolis Colts

Likely position: Wide recievers coach, offensive coordinator

Christensen and Marinelli date back to their days in Tampa Bay when Christensen was the wide receivers coach and Marinelli the defensive line coach. Having absorbed the wide open aspects of the Colts offense, Christensen might be ready to make the jump up to coordinator.
Chances: Good.

Mike Martz, former St. Louis Rams head coach

Likely position: Offensive coordinator

Martz, appearing on ESPN, said he would be willing to serve as an offensive coordinator or even a quarterbacks coach in order to get back involved with the NFL. Noted as an offensive genius, Martz offensive scheme might be a little too radical for Marinelli, but Marinelli said he would hire based on tape, not reputation. If that's truly the case, Martz's tape's would be eye-popping.
Chances: Slim.

Bill Muir, offensive line coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Muir, a former Lions assistant made his name and reputation working under Bill Parcells. Muir possess a reputation for being a solid tactician and teacher, something Marinelli highly values.

``I understand they are under contract, that's my knowledge of [the situation] but that's not a fact. There's a lot of men I want to talk to initially and we'll go from there," said Marinelli. Muir's contract situation is unknown, some sources say it expires in January, others say he signed a two-year extension. If free, there's a good chane he could land in Motown.
Chances: 50-50.

Lomas Brown, former Detroit Lions player, Likely position: Offensive line coach

Brown has remained in the area and has been part of the Lions radio postgame broadcasts. If the Lions want to maintain a lifeline with Lions of the past and add a solid clubhouse lieutenant, Brown is willing to learn and to work under Marinelli. ``The reason I would do it if they hired me," said Brown, ``is because of the stability it would give me like Charlie Sanders has. I don`t want to be moving my family all over the place if the current coaches or front office move on. I want to stay in Detroit and continue working here."

Art Valero, running backs coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Likely position: running backs or wide receivers coach. Valero's situation mirrors that of Muir, if he's free, he'll be a candidate, if not, Tampa won't release him.
Chances: 50-50.

Mike Heimerdinger, offensive coordinator, New York Jets

Likely position: Offensive coordinator

Heimerdinger has been informed by new Jets head coach Eric Mangini that he will be retained as offensive coordinator, but Heimerdinger wants none of it. He doesn't believe in or support Mangini and has vowed to fight having to work under him. He runs the kind of power run, deep passing attack that would interest Marinelli. Chances: Stay tuned. In addition to these candidates, three current Lions assistants should be strong candidates to be retained; defensive backs coach Georg Catavolos, special teams coach Chuck Priefer and tight ends coach Ted Tollner.


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