Landing Rod Marinelli as an assistant this offseason was a great get for the Raiders. It was enticing enough that the team let go of popular defensive line coach Brentson Buckner to do it.
Just how good of a get was Marinelli? Well, the Pro Football Writers of America know as the longtime NFL assistant is one of two nominated for their coveted Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL.
Marinelli is entering his 25th season as a NFL coach, and his first as the defensive line coach for the Las Vegas Raiders. He spent seven years (2013-19) with the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator (promoted in 2014) and defensive line coach. He entered the NFL as a defensive line coach, and later assistant head coach, for Tampa Bay (1996-2005). After three seasons as Detroit head coach (2006-08), he was Chicago’s assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2009, and was promoted to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator (2010-12). A premier defensive line coach, the Buccaneers led the NFL in overall sacks during his tenure there, and the Bears led the league in interceptions (24) and takeaways (44) in 2012. In Dallas, the Cowboys defense improved each year, including a jump from 32nd to 19th in 2014, when Dallas went 12-4, and finishes of eighth (2017) and seventh (2018). Marinelli has coached in one Super Bowl (XXXVII) with Tampa Bay, when the Buccaneers dominated Oakland for the title.
The other nominee for the award is Texans’ Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel.