Following the retirement of Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, the Bears nation began to speculate his replacement. All the usual names were bandied about, but Bears management has decided to promote from within, and promoted safety coach Sean Desai.
With over a decade of experience as a coach at the NFL and college level, Sean Desai is no stranger to Bears fans. Desai will be in his ninth season with the Bears in 2021 after serving as a defensive quality control coach from 2013-18 before coaching safeties the past two seasons.
Sean Desai Pre-Bears
Sean Desai joined the Chicago Bears after spending the 2012 season as the running backs coach/special teams coordinator at Boston College. A season that Boston College led the NCAA in punt returns, averaging 21.7 yards per return. Desai also coached running back Andre Williams during the season, who went on to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back the following year.
In May 2008, Desai earned a doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis in higher education, where he was serving as an adjunct professor at the school in 2009 and 2010, teaching in the masters and doctoral programs in education administration.
Why Sean Desai is the Right Choice for Chicago
Spoken highly of by management and players alike, former DC Vic Fangio now Head coach of Denver Broncos actually wanted Desai to join him with the Broncos after three successful seasons together, where it has been said that Desai was very much Fangio’s right-hand man.
He resisted the urge to bail and decided to finish what he started. Along with getting this job, Desai was also expected to get an interview with the LA Rams, before they pivoted to Raheem Morris. This shows how highly thought of Desai is around the league. He made a big enough impression on Brandon Staley in their small-time together that he was able to convince McVay to consider him just through conversations about the former safeties coach.
Most recently in Desai’s tenure, the Bears safety position was held down by fourth-year star, Eddie Jackson and veteran Tashaun Gipson Sr. During an underwhelming season for the Bears, Desai’s safeties still held opponent passing attacks to just 231.6 yards per game–good for 12th in the NFL.
During 2019, Desai guided Eddie Jackson (60 tackles, 2 INTs) to his second-straight Pro Bowl along with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who also had a good first season with the Bears (78 tackles, 2 INTs). Both Jackson and Clinton-Dix played key roles in limiting opposing offenses to just 222.1 passing yards per game in 2019, a figure that ranked second in the NFC and ninth among all NFL teams.
It is not only the safeties and former colleagues that have high praise for Sean Desai, but there are also many former players from positions that Desai didn’t even coach that have given him their full support. Current analyst Sam Acho. The ex-Bear went even on record as such this past week stating:
Also, former Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long threw in his opinion on whether the Bears should hire Desai, saying:
Under the reign of Matt Nagy, Desai has helped guide the Chicago Bears to two playoff appearances in three years. Along with becoming the first coordinator to ever have a doctorate, Sean Desai has also become the first person of Indian descent to become a coach and also the first to become a coordinator in the NFL. If he coaches as well as he breaks barriers, Chicago is in for a treat.
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