LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Rod Marinelli’s former players swear by him for several reasons, most of them being his intense attention to the minor details of defensive line play.
Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison shed some light Wednesday on why the Bears are taking to the defensive coordinator, who enters his first year with the club at that position. Harrison said Marinelli inspires players to want to learn everything they can about the team’s defense.
“In meetings, he’ll bring up things that you always want to know more about,” Harrison said.
Marinelli demonstrated that Monday during a team meeting in which he gave the defense somewhat of a history lesson on the Tampa 2 scheme.
“He’ll tell you all about the history going back to Tony Dungy,” Harrison said. “And you want to ask more about it. You’re like, ‘How did Tony come up with this defense?’ Because it seems that something like that would take so much time [to develop].
”It’s just amazing how long people have been running it. Man, they’ll show us film from 15 years ago with the same old scheme, and everything is the same. That’s why he’s such a good coach. We go over the same things over and over, but that’s what you want. That’s how you perfect it.
“He’s like, ‘If you see a little [while reading your keys], then you see a lot,’” Harrison explained. “But if you see too much -- like peeking into the backfield or something like that -- that's how you get beat. Rod does a great job of all that stuff, I must say.”
How that transfers to the football field hasn’t yet manifested itself. But because of Marinelli’s tutelage, the Bears think they’ve got a leg up in their preparation for opponents.
“Rod’s gonna hammer things over and over until he gets what he wants,” Harrison said.