The Chicago Bears’ search for a new defensive coordinator ends where it began — at Halas Hall.
Nearly a week after being identified as a top internal candidate, Safeties Coach Sean Desai is getting a promotion:
Big move for the #Bears: Chicago is hiring Sean Desai to be its new defensive coordinator, sources say. To my knowledge, the first person of Indian descent to become a coordinator in the NFL. They call him “Doc” for his doctorate at Temple, now they’ll also call him DC.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 22, 2021
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Bears are hiring Desai as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Desai takes over for Chuck Pagano, who retired after two years with the team.
Desai, 37, is the longest-tenured coach on the Bears’ staff. Chicago hired Desai to be a quality control assistant in 2013, which means he was part of Marc Trestman’s staff. But don’t let that bug you out. Clearly, Desai is doing something right in order to survive the Trestman and John Fox regimes. And seeing Desai go from quality control assistant, to safeties coach, to defensive coordinator speaks to how much this current regime likes him. If you can survive this long throughout turnover ahead of you – while the defense generally performs well with a variety of personnel – that seems like a good sign.
Also: given the uncertainty about the Bears’ near-term future, it was probably going to be tough to get a top-tier external candidate, as maybe we’ve already kinda seen with some other coaching moves this offseason. So, an internal move makes sense in that regard, too.
For what it’s worth, Desai already has one ringing endorsement:
The Bears don’t have to look far for their next DC. Sean Desai has been ready for that role for years. He was Vic Fangio’s right hand man for 4 years, & helped craft that defense to greatness. Smart, talented, knows ball and has all the credentials. All he needs is an opportunity
— Sam Acho (@TheSamAcho) January 18, 2021
More to come later.
UPDATE: It’s officially official:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 23, 2021