Bears filling out staff/Updated
Chicago coach Lovie Smith is continuing to replenish his defensive coaching staff and now has only one more significant hire to make.
Jon Hoke is the Bears' new defensive backs coach, replacing the fired Steven Wilks. Saturday, Smith hired former Detroit coach Rod Marinelli to replace defensive line coach Brick Haley. (Marinelli also received the title of assistant head coach.) The Bears' final opening is at linebackers coach, a job Smith vacated by firing Lloyd Lee last week.
Hoke played in 11 games a cornerback for the Bears in 1980. Much more recently, he served as Houston's defensive backs coach from 2002-08. His career path has not crossed with Smith or Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich, as far as I can tell. (If anyone is aware of a connection, send it my way.)
UPDATE (2:25 p.m.): Smith told members of the Chicago media that Babich will coach the linebackers -- meaning the staff is now complete, according to Brad Biggs' account on his Inside the Bears blog. Because of Babich's increased role, Smith will take on more daily responsibilities with the defense. We'll add a new post later Tuesday on these developments.