One coordinator should pique the interest of the Denver Broncos as a defensive coordinator. His name should not come as a surprise, but it is Sean Desai. Desai is a disciple under Vic Fangio and has had one opportunity as a defensive coordinator before taking a defensive assistant job with the Seattle Seahawks this season. The Fangio disciple appears to be a rising star in this industry and is worth a long look if you’re Sean Payton and company.
Desai had some crossover with Matt Rhule in his first coaching gig at Temple as a Defense and Special Teams coach from 2006-2010. From there he took steps in Miami Florida’s front office as an Assistant Director of Player Operations in 2011. After Miami, his last stop in the collegiate ranks was at Boston College where current safety Justin Simmons was a freshman in 2012.
Before hopping over to Temple, he earned his undergraduate degree at Boston University. Even more impressive, Desai earned his masters degree at Columbia University, and then during the stint at Temple, while coaching, he earned his doctorate and became an adjunct professor for two years. That’s what you call an impressive resume.
After leaving college he stepped foot in the NFL with the Chicago Bears where he would spend time in different areas as a coach. The bulk of his career with the Bears was spent in the secondary from 2013-2021 It was not until 2020 that he became defensive coordinator for the Bears.
As a Vic Fangio disciple, he didn’t run many blitzes in one year as defensive coordinator. While they only blitzed about 22.6 percent of the time he did much to what Evero was known for. When there were numerous injuries on the defense he ran did a great still maximizing the talent on the defense. Keep in mind, in 2020, Khalil Mack missed close to 10 games due to an injury. How Desai was maximizing safety helped to create pressure in stopping the run and filling run gaps.
Also not talked about when Khalil Mack went down was Robert Quinn’s emergence as a stellar defensive edge rusher. Quinn had a career season with Desai as his defensive coordinator. Take another look at another clip where Desai put both Mack in a position to be successful on one rep.
The defensive line will be one the most heavily anticipated groups to follow in free agency and with DJ Jones and potentially Dre’Mont Jones back in the fold (who knows at this point). This begs the question if Desai could get creative in how he utilizes his defensive line to be stout up front. In college, the 3-3-5 defense has taken the NCAA by storm to put athletes in a position to be very successful and aggressive. However, maybe he turns to a 2-4-5 defense in certain situations to help create those opportunities for the defensive line. Here’s another example from Robby.
Desai defensively has been that mixed bag, but it is impressive to still see how creative he can be with scheming his best players to succeed. With the Denver Broncos’ defense being a little richer in talent than Chicago it’s certainly possible to see Desai have better success in Denver.
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Denver does probably have more candidates lined up to interview. However, with Fangio telling Desai to consider Denver after withdrawing his name from the Minnesota Vikings job (later hired Brian Flores) it begs the question if it’s only a matter of time before Desai is the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator.