Rod Marinelli: I went to Chicago because of Lovie Smith


Rod Marinelli said he could have stayed in Chicago as the Bears defensive coordinator. His loyalties, however, led him to Dallas.

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"There's no doubt (it was hard to leave)," Marinelli told The Star-Telegram, "But my No. 1 relationship is with Lovie Smith. Yeah, he's probably one of my best friends in life, and I believe in him and I went there because of him and it's not the right place for me without him."

We'll pretend like Marinelli wasn't chased out of Detroit after the 0-16 season. He may have liked the opportunity to coach with Smith, but it wasn't like the Lions wanted to keep him.

The latest right place was next to new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. The two spent 10 seasons together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I think what we did there, and a lot of the other guys were there with us, (gave us) a bond and ... a belief (in the system)," Marinelli said. "There are things maybe you differently here and there over the course of the year. But that foundation, the fundamentals of what we do, is the core belief for us. That kind of unites us. That's why I wanted to be part of this and be back with him."

Marinelli will coach the defensive line in Dallas. Rarely do you see someone giving up a coordinator job to coach a singular position -- especially when that defense has some of the best talent in the NFL. This, obviously, is a unique situation that was expedited by Smith's firing in Chicago.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.