Bears hire Mike Pettine to work on Sean Desai's defensive staff

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Alex Shapiro
·2 min read
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Bears hire Mike Pettine to work on Sean Desai's staff originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears announced on Wednesday that they have hired Mike Pettine to act as a senior defensive assistant. The move brings a vertan voice into Halas Hall to help rookie defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

NBC Sports Chicago's Adam Hoge reports that the Bears didn't necessarily believe Desai needed the veteran presence on his staff, but that Pettine's availability provided a unique opportunity.

Pettine spent the last three seasons as the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator. Over his three seasons in Green Bay, the Packers ranked in the top-half of the league in sacks twice. In 2020, they fielded the No. 9 defense in terms of yards allowed, and were tied with the Bears for the No. 13 defense in terms of points allowed. However Pettine came under fire after bad defense led to an easy Tampa Bay touchdown right before halftime in this year’s NFC Championship game.

“It was man coverage,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said after the loss. “Definitely not the right call for the situation, and you can’t do stuff like that against a good football team and expect to win.”

Before his time with the Packers, Pettine was head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2014-15, defensive coordinator for the Bills in 2013, and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 2009-12. In all, Pettine has been a coach in the NFL for 17 years.

Desai was named Bears offensive coordinator last month. Desai worked as the Bears’ safeties coach in 2019, and has been on the Bears’ staff since 2013 when he worked in a quality control capacity. During his time as a quality control assistant, he worked with the defensive backs, linebackers and special teams units.

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