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Bears' Rod Marinelli recovers after 0-16 Lions season

Rod Marinelli was the laughingstock of the NFL four years ago. He etched his name into the record books as coach of the 2008 Detroit Lions -- the only team in NFL history to finish 0-16.

Now, Marinelli is lauded around the league as the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator. The Bears are the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL and tied with the Atlanta Falcons with a league-high 17 turnovers.

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"Everything you go though helps you in football," Marinelli told the Detroit Free Press. "If you fail and you give up on something you believe in, that shows weakness. You really didn't believe in it in the first place. If you kowtow to criticism, that's weakness.

"If you really believe in how you do your business and you fail, you become more glued to it than ever before. Failure never made me doubt. I knew it was the right thing. That's me. Believe in what we do."

It also helps to have Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers and Charles Tillman. The Lions had Matt Millen in charge of personnel.

It's safe to say Marinelli has landed nicely on his feet. That was not a given when he left.

Actually, Marinelli isn't alone as Lions cast-offs now in a better place. Eagles offensive coordinator Mary Mornhinweg coached the Lions from 2001 to 2002 and went 5-27 in Detroit. The Eagles have their issues, but Mornhinweg was promoted to assistant head coach/offensive coordinator after one season as senior assistant. He, like Marinelli, was run out of Detroit with a mob in tow.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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