Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is the only head coach in NFL history to go 0-16. He earned that dubious distinction with the 2008 Detroit Lions.
Marinelli takes no joy in seeing another coach possibly joining him in that regard, particularly a man he once coached with – Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson.
The Browns are 0-15 and 10.5-point underdogs at Pittsburgh this weekend.
“Hue’s a great friend of mine and he is strong as strong can be,” Marinelli said. “I admire everything about the guy and he’s handling everything the right way. He’s a winner. I don’t care what … that guy’s a winner. He’s earned everything he’s gotten in this profession. He’s just going to keep grinding. I know him.”
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Marinelli and Jackson were assistants on Bruce Snyder’s staff at Arizona State from 1992-94.
The Browns’ struggles, Marinelli said, is another sign of just how difficult it is to win in the NFL. Marinelli’s 2008 Lions team had five games in which they lost by one score with the closest being a 12-10 loss at Minnesota in Week 6.
“I’ve been down that road … no question it’s tougher than nails and things start stacking up on you and it’s tough,” Marinelli said. “Everything [Jackson] has done has been off the charts in how he’s handled everything.
“You don’t want to ever see a coach or a friend go through that, but if there’s a man who’s going through it [Jackson is showing] real toughness. He’s an upbeat, positive guy. That’s what I love about him and he’s been that way all the time.”
Marinelli hasn’t talked to Jackson during the season, but reiterated his respect for him.
“He’s done everything great,” Marinelli said.