Longtime Bears Coach Could Be on the Way Out: Report

Sean Desai

Getty Defensive coordinator Sean Desai of the Chicago Bears has gotten interest from the Seahwaks.

Sean Desai has coached for the Chicago Bears in some capacity since 2013, making him the longest tenured coach currently on the team’s staff. He was promoted to defensive coordinator prior to the 2021 season, and he had a solid first year in the role.

Chicago finished 11th in the NFL in total defense, surrendering 344.9 yards per game, and Desai’s unit was also fourth in total sacks (49). After head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired on Jan. 10, the future of the 38-year-old coordinator was thrown into question. Now, other teams are showing interest in the young DC, who comes from the Vic Fangio coaching tree.

According to Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic, the Seattle Seahawks have requested to interview Desai for their defensive coordinator position. “Hearing that another name to watch in the Seahawks defensive coordinator search is Sean Desai of the Bears. Seahawks have requested to interview him, I’m told,” Dugar tweeted on Jan. 19.

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Desai Was a Bright Spot for Chicago Last Season

When veteran defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano retired after the 2020 season, Desai was hired as his replacement. He earned a PhD from Temple University in 2008, which is also where his coaching career began.

Here’s a look at Desai’s coaching resumé:

  • Temple (2006–2010) — Defensive & special teams coach
  • Miami (FL) (2011) — Assistant director of football operations
  • Boston College (2012) — Running backs coach & special teams coordinator
  • Chicago Bears (2013–2018) — Defensive quality control coach
  • Chicago Bears (2019–2020) — Safeties coach
  • Chicago Bears (2021–present) — Defensive coordinator

In his time with the Bears, Desai became known for his hard work, football smarts and organization.

“I take pride in my preparation. I take pride in being organized. I hope our coaches feel that. And I think our players will continue to see that,” Desai said on Sept. 8, via Dan Wiederer of The Chicago Tribune. “And if (the opponent) gets us into a problem, that’s OK. That’s what this league is. It’s a chess match between offenses and defenses.”

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Desai is Much-Loved Among Bears Players

Considering his solid first season coordinating Chicago’s defense coupled with his players’ affection for him, it’s no surprise to see Desai getting attention from other teams. There’s no guarantee whoever the Bears choose as their next head coach will retain his services, although it would be a good way to maintain some consistency on the defensive side of the ball.

“Sean has got a little bit more of a geeky side than any coordinator I’ve been around,” Bears All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack said about Desai, per Wiederer. “His mind is always (bleeping) going. It’s definitely fun to see.”

“He’s a super smart guy,” linebacker Trevis Gipson added about the young DC. “But sometimes he thinks light years ahead. So sometimes when he first brings an idea to you, you say, ‘Sean there’s no way that’s going to work.’ … Then after he breaks it down to you, you’re like, ‘OK. Five minutes ago, there’s no way I would have put that together. But now it makes sense.’”

Wherever he winds up in 2022, the future is looking bright for Desai. We’ll see what happens with the Seahawks.

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