When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to hire Lovie Smith to replace Greg Schiano as their head coach, it sounded like he already had his staff set to be hired, too. Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford was slated to be Smith's offensive coordinator and Rod Marinelli was pegged as his top option for defensive coordinator.
Per ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen, the Bucs inked Tedford to a contract on Thursday and are considering Chiefs director of personnel Chris Ballard to replace Mark Dominik as general manager.
However, Marinelli currently remains under contract with the Dallas Cowboys through 2014, and it's unclear when, or if, he will be allowed to speak with the Bucs.
"Under NFL rules, Tampa Bay would have to seek permission to interview Marinelli and, as of 3 p.m. Thursday, the Cowboys haven’t granted it, according to a club source," wrote Rainer Sabin of the Dallas News. "That’s not exactly a surprising development, either. The Cowboys like Marinelli, the defensive line coach who was brought in to help orchestrate the transition to the 4-3 system installed under coordinator Monte Kiffin last off-season."
Since that 4-3 system under Kiffin turned out to be historically awful, Kiffin could be shown the door. In that case, it's possible that Marinelli could be promoted to replace Kiffin or let go, if they opt to switch away from the 4-3.