Bears DC Sean Desai: Chicago defense needs a tune up, not overhaul

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A couple of years ago, Chicago’s defense was considered the best in football. The unit finished 2018 first in points allowed and third in yards allowed, while producing a league-high 36 turnovers.

They were so good that former coordinator Vic Fangio landed a new job as the Broncos’ head coach in 2019.

While Chicago made the postseason in 2020 as the NFC’s new No. 7 seed, the Bears’ defense did fall off under coordinator Chuck Pagano. The club finished 14th in points allowed, 11th in yards allowed, and forced just 18 takeaways — ranking in the bottom third of the league.

Pagano has since retired, with former Bears safeties coach Sean Desai receiving a promotion to the position. During a video conference on Monday, Desai noted that Fangio has been his biggest coaching influence, especially because he sat next to Fangio in the coaching booth during games.

But more than that, Desai feels like Chicago’s defense isn’t far from returning to its recent glory days.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said. “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis. And they’re going to buy into the system, and they why’s and how’s of why we’re doing certain things.

“But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here. … I’m with you all in terms of the stats — somebody asked earlier, [about how] there was some regression — and we’re going to overcome that. But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and we’ll do that over a 16-to-20-week season.”

The Bears have one of the best defensive building blocks in football with Khalil Mack on their side, and he should be a catalyst for improvement. Plus, Desai has the benefit of knowing Chicago’s personnel already, as he’s been with the club since 2013.

And that’s a good thing, too, because realistically the Bears have to place their highest priority this offseason on figuring out their quarterback to become a more consistent offensive team in 2021.

8 responses to “Bears DC Sean Desai: Chicago defense needs a tune up, not overhaul

  1. Sacks and forced turnovers have gone down significantly which is an indication the defense has been playing passively. Hopefully this will change with the new DC.

  2. Bears haven’t won a playoff game since acquiring Khalil Mack. They’re paying him a lot of money. Never go after the high priced free agents unless they are guys that go 100% every play. You want your leaders to lead by example.

  3. Mack is 0-3 in his career in playoff games, with zero sacks! he gets his numbers in bunches and disappears in half the games. Not sure when the media will admit the bears lost on that trade, especially for what he is making

  4. Looks like the sour grapes Raider fans are in full force. Mack’s been to the playoffs twice in three seasons where the Raiders failed to make it even once. Hopefully Desai will find a way to get Quinn involved to relieve some pressure on Mack.

  5. Mack is a no show. Fading away like Watt did after a big check. Bears are still looking for a QB while paying him to barely cause a difference. 26mill cap hit is huge this season. Yikes. Not gonna get any better.

  6. dino2997 says:
    February 15, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Looks like the sour grapes Raider fans are in full force. Mack’s been to the playoffs twice in three seasons where the Raiders failed to make it even once. Hopefully Desai will find a way to get Quinn involved to relieve some pressure on Mack
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Bears made the playoffs on the back of a weak schedule in 2018 and they had the same record this year, not the Raiders fault they play in a tougher conference where 7-9 and 8-8 teams don’t make the playoffs.

    Tell me who won when the Raiders played the bears in 2019?

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