LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Bears’ last two defensive coordinators were season-veterans…Vic Fangio and Chuck Pagano. Now that’s all changed with Sean Desai in charge.
Desai is only 37 years old. This is his first shot as a defensive coordinator. There was a time when he set out to pursue a medical career, and then he switched to a career in education. He has a masters and a doctorate in education. Desai told reporters Monday that as a coach he still sees himself as a teacher.
“To me coaching is a very distinguished and different, unique form of teaching…this is the form of teaching at the highest level.”
DeSai has been a pupil in the Bears organization since 2013 learning under Mel Tucker, Vic Fangio and Chuck Pagano first as a defensive quality control coach and then as the safeties coach.
“All of those coaches have given me different spots and different areas of responsibility, so I was able to get a good picture of the defense and how to build a defense.”
But it’s Fangio’s version of the 3-4 defense that DeSai’s defense is most likely to resemble. DeSai sat next to Fangio in the coach’s booth during games.
“Vic has been my biggest mentor in the NFL.” “I think the biggest thing I’ll take from Vic is going to be my preparation and my approach to the game and the buy-in I’m going to get from the players.”
Desai can also learn from the Bears’ latest addition former Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He’s the Bears’ new senior defensive assistant.
“I think coach Pettine is going to be able to help us on defense.” “He’s going to be able to bring in ideas.”
Desai wouldn’t get into the scheme he’ll run or any specifics, but he knows the identity he wants his defense to have.
“We’re going to be physical, we’re going to be tough, and we’re going to value speed and those things and brains and smarts.”
Desai doesn’t believe the Bears’ defense needs an overhaul. He thinks it can be one of the NFL’s best this next season like it was in 2018.
“The 2018 defense was the best defense in 2018 right, and our goal is to be the best defense in 2021.” “I think we’re going to have the tools and the players and the teaching and the coaching to do that.”