Tampa Bay Super Bowl QB Talks Raiders Rod Marinelli

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl-winning QB Drew Stanton, from this year's big game, talked about his friend, the Las Vegas Raiders Rod Marinelli

Many players around the league have built relationships with their coaches that have carried along outside of football.

After a 13-year career in the NFL, veteran quarterback Drew Stanton recently retired from football. After being part of last season's Super Bowl-winning team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Stanton reminisced the relationship he built with his first NFL head coach, Rod Marinelli, and what he meant to him and other players in the league.

Stanton was this week's guest on Raider Nation Radio with Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven's Editor and Publisher Hondo Carpenter, and Clay Baker on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE).

They asked Stanton a few questions, and one was on what Marinelli meant to him as a coach on the field and friend outside of football.

"Within the Detroit Lions, you know I feel in love with Rod Marinelli," Stanton said. "He lives it every single day, he wakes up and he earns it. He goes out there, He doesn't take a single second for granted, and that infectious personality of earning it and the trust and all of that stuff.

"It goes hand in hand, this is a business yes but there's also relationships within the business, is that they become extra special and I've always been in touch with him."

The Lions drafted Stanton in the second round (No. 43 overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft, when Marinelli was the Lions head coach. They were part of the winless team in the 2008 season.

His failure as a head coach did not define Marinelli on how he was with his players or how he coached a team. While many of its players respected him and vouched for him as a coach, it was unfortunate for him as a head coach in that troubling situation in Detroit.

"I've had the utmost respect for him of how he approaches the game and it didn't work out his first time as a head coach," Stanton said. "Some guys aren't meant to be head coaches, some guys probably don't want to be head coaches again because you get a chance to be a head coach, and you've not coaching football at that point, that's what he wants to do. He is a coach."

Stanton added, "When you become a head coach, you become a politician and you have to talk to the media and, you know the doctors, you have to be able to balance all of these things and yes it's a great honor and great reward.

"But I think that when it comes down to it, it's about the guys and Rod is all about investing in the people around him getting the most optimal, and he did better as a defensive coordinator. That's why he's done that, every stop of the way."

Since his time in Tampa Bay with Coach Jon Gruden, Marinelli has been a great defensive line coach. Before the Raiders, he turned the Cowboys defense into one of the elite units in the NFL. The rugged and gritty coaching style has led him to have great relationships with now Hall of Fame players, and the statistics speak for themselves. Marinelli was meant to be a position coach.

"(He) built these relationships and you will not hear a bad thing about Rod Marinelli as a coach in this league from a single player," Stanton said.

The Raiders retained Marinelli as the defensive line coach after assuming the interim defensive coordinator's duties last season, shortly after the firing of then defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.

Due to injuries and COVID-19, the Raiders responded well at first with a short-handed defense but suddenly collapsed toward the end of the season.

Marinelli's influence showed promising talent from young players on the Raiders roster and will continue to do so next season.

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