One of the most important moves the Las Vegas Raiders made this past offseason was the acquisition of defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.Â
Bringing in Rod Marinelli was in the Silver and Black’s best interest
Last season, Brentson Buckner oversaw a defensive line that registered 22 more sacks than they did in 2018. The defensive line coach also helped defensive end Maxx Crosby turn into a Defensive Rookie of the Year runner up. However, the Raiders saw an opportunity to upgrade their coaching staff and relieved him of his duties. In turn, they brought in Rod Marinelli, who up was the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator up until 2019.
Marinelli has previously worked with defensive tackle Warren Sapp and defensive end Simeon Rice. More recently, he was responsible for developing DeMarcus Lawrence and Maliek Collins, who will be playing in Las Vegas. Although he had a forgettable stint with the Detroit Lions, he has been able to fix his reputation as a defensive line guru.
Now in Sin City, Marinelli will get the most out of a defensive line that has slowly piled up talent. Besides Crosby and first-round pick Clelin Ferrell, the Raiders signed Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib. Also, there’s wild card Arden Key, who hasn’t lived up to the hype but has looked good in recent practices. The defensive line coach will leave his imprint in the Silver and Black’s front four.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive line players are already noticing the difference
Crosby already talked about how Marinelli is emphasizing effort and sprinting to the ball. The defensive end also mentioned he doesn’t want a coach that’s always happy and doesn’t tap hi on the “ass.” He isn’t the only Raiders defender to feel that way. In his latest conversation with The Athletic, Maurice Hurst gives Marinelli his endorsement.
Regarding the type of coaching Marinelli employs, Hurst says the defensive line coach won’t pamper them and echoes Crosby’s comments about emphasis put on hustle.
“He is strict. It’s almost like how I would imagine the military is. Everything is full speed and he talks a lot about the mental aspects of the game. He is always going to push you to get the most of you.”
Hurst welcomes Marinelli’s approach and believes the coach inspires them to play hard and become their best selves.
“He’s been awesome. He is a great coach. He has a long lineage of great defensive linemen and he makes you really want to play hard. You want to become one of those guys that he can rely on and become part of his great history.”
At an individual level, Hurst says Marinelli has taught him new moves such as “an inside move, a spin move, and a cross chop.” Pretty much, the defensive tackle is a more complete player because of Marinelli.
If other defensive linemen are learning and growing as much as Crosby and Hurst say they are, the Raiders should definitely be formidable at the line of scrimmage.
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Top Photo: Ron Jenkins/Associated Press