Tuesday, September 27, 2022

VIDEO: Rod Marinelli’s Speech To Bears Players Even Has Us Fired Up


Matt Eberflus had plenty of influences during his long ascent to becoming an NFL head coach. Somebody he credits more than most is Rod Marinelli. The longtime defensive line coach and former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator had a massive influence on Eberflus during their time together in Dallas. That is where the head coach picked up his now famous H.I.T.S principle. Marinelli embodies many of the qualities that make for a great coach in his mind.

When listening to the man speak, it is easy to see why. The 73-year-old paid a visit to Halas Hall in the spring at the request of his former pupil. After watching practice, he spoke with the players about what was to come and what was expected of them. The Bears caught it on film for their 1920 Football Drive series. Listening to the man talk, it became easy to understand why he survived in the NFL for 25 years. One gets the urge to run through a wall by the time he’s done talking.

Perhaps his best line was saved for the Bears’ coaching staff when discussing standards.

“The worst thing that can happen (is) there is a standard, and a coach walks by a mistake. You never walk by a mistake if there’s a standard. As hard as it can be, say ‘Not good enough. Do it again.’ Builds morale. Everybody’s accountable. The hardest thing is to say to somebody else, ‘Man, you didn’t do it right.’ That’s morale. That’s building morale when you call it out.”

Rod Marinelli understands football and understands the Bears.

This game is not easy. It is hard. The demands are high both mentally and physically. Football will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not tough enough on both ends. The best way to overcome that is to work hard. There are no taking shortcuts. Either put in the time or prepare to be disappointed. The Bears have a legacy of breeding tough, hard-nosed players. Every successful era from the past half century proves it.

Rod Marinelli was part of the most recent one. His work as defensive coordinator from 2010 to 2012 still doesn’t get enough credit. Losing him after Lovie Smith got fired was a blow that took years for the team to recover from. He embraced the identity of Bears football. The players and coaches of this new generation must do the same. That speech was a damn good one. Hopefully, some players will take it to heart as training camp gets underway. It is the best advice they’re likely to get.


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Reply to  SilkPony
Jul 26, 2022 5:34 pm

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Jul 26, 2022 11:05 am

The guys that listened, and took his words SERIOUSLY, will be better off in life. Football may be the first time some of them realized that commitment isn’t just on the field, or in the weight room. It all starts in the head and heart. These young men had the opportunity to learn from a Football Legend, not just a Coach. He’s lived it, and the fact that many of his former players stay in touch — and several have now made it into Coaching (e.g… Eberflus) demonstrates the effect he has on guys who WANT it. Nice touch, having… Read more »

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