Desai, 39, only joined the Seahawks last year after previously spending nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. The Temple alumnus eventually worked his way up from defensive quality control coach (2013-2018) to defensive coordinator (2021) in the Windy City.
In Desai’s sole season as a DC, the Bears ranked 13th in defensive DVOA, tied for 21st in opponent offensive points per game, and 22nd in EPA per play.
Here’s a positive review of Desai from Windy City Gridiron in October 2021. The Bears were 3-2 at the time before their season fell apart.
A unit many expected to take another step back through five games is instead among the NFL’s very best. Two years of precipitous decline following a historic 2018 campaign was supposed to mean a descent into mediocrity this year, into a side of the ball that needed a bit more than a retool. Yet, here the Bears’ defenders are, in October, flexing their muscles on (most) any offense who dares not be prepared for what they bring to the table.
This success is in no small part thanks to new defensive coordinator, Sean Desai. The 38-year-old first-year coordinator is pushing all the right buttons. A few stars are playing their big parts, but this isn’t the most talented defense, per se. This is a product of a coach who knows how to use his toys. As a result, as usual, the Bears are winning with a ball-control offense that protects and amplifies their primary team strength — their defense.
Suppose this sort of play stays consistent and level through the 2021 season, where Desai is always maximizing his talent while covering any glaring holes well. In that case, he’ll be a popular head coaching candidate come to the off-season. Between Desai and the Chargers’ Brandon Staley, that newfound Vic Fangio coaching tree is starting to look radiant.
The Bears ultimately finished that year with a 6-11 record. They fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace, who were obviously kept one season too long.
Desai’s only chance at being a DC came in a lame duck season for the franchise. Perhaps he could benefit from a more stable environment, such as the situation in Philly.
Philly’s interest in Desai is likely not totally unrelated to his experience working under Vic Fangio, whom the Eagles consulted with last season. Desai and Fangio overlapped in Chicago for four seasons.
Desai is the second publicly known external Eagles defensive coordinator candidate. They are also said to be interviewing Vance Joseph, who was released from his contract by the Arizona Cardinals. Both Desai and Joseph have also been connected to the Denver Broncos’ DC opening.
Eagles defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson also figures to be in the mix to replace Jonathan Gannon’s old role.
Should the Eagles hire Sean Desai as their DC?
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