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Indianapolis — New Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano spent 12 seasons in the same role with the Houston Texans, and Gary Kubiak was the head coach for eight of those years.

Now the coach for the Denver Broncos, Kubiak raved about Marciano on Wednesday at the NFL combine.

"Joe's a fireball," Kubiak said at Lucas Oil Stadium. "And I think first off, he's been a very successful coach in this league for a long time. Obviously, we went through a tough situation in Houston a couple years ago, and Joe sat out last year.

"I think a lot of times in this business those coaches that sort of reassess where they're at in their career and go back at it even more hungry than maybe they had been in the past. And I think you're getting a guy that's really ready to go back to work and be successful."

Kubiak and his staff were fired after a 2-14 season in 2013. Marciano spent the start of the 2014 season as the interim special teams coordinator for the Vikings while Mike Priefer was suspended at the start of the year, but was off for most of the season.

The Lions needed a new special teams coordinator after John Bonamego, who was with the team the last two years, took the head coaching job at Central Michigan.

Sports Illustrated reported Marciano's hiring on Feb. 6, and the Lions finally confirmed it Tuesday. Marciano brings 29 years of coaching experience, including spending 2001 with Lions coach Jim Caldwell in Tampa Bay.

"Joe obviously has had a remarkable career," Caldwell said in a statement. "First of all, we were trying to find a guy that had a significant amount of experience. We have a fairly veteran team, and we wanted to make certain that we had a guy in there who has been through it before and understands how to implement a new system."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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