Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is hiring former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai as associate head coach for defense, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday.
Desai, 38, led a strong Bears defense last year in his first season as the club's defensive coordinator.
The same can't be said of the Seahawks' defense, which ranked 28th in the NFL in yardage allowed at 379.1 yards per game. Seattle finished 7-10, at the bottom of the NFC West, and Carroll subsequently dismissed defensive coordinator Ken Norton. Just a day later, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Seahawks requested an interview with Desai, who also interviewed for DC jobs with the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that Carroll was promoting defensive line coach Clint Hurtt to DC.
Among their first challenges will be to improve a Seahawks pass defense that struggled last season, particularly at the cornerback position. Seattle's secondary faces free-agency uncertainty, as well, with defensive backs Quandre Diggs, Sidney Jones and D.J. Reed at the end of their contracts.
Desai's Bears defense allowed just 316.7 yards per game last year, which ranked sixth in the NFL, despite lengthy injury absences for key players such as linebackers Khalil Mack and Danny Trevathan, as well as defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, among others. Desai spent five years in the Bears' defensive quality control department, working under one of the game's top defensive minds in former Bears DC Vic Fangio. Desai was hired as the club's safeties coach in 2019.
Former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was a strong candidate to lead the Seahawks' defense, as well, but Donatell took a DC position with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.
The Seahawks also fired offensive line coach Mike Solari on Friday, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, and are promoting run game coordinator Andy Dickerson to fill that role.