Philadelphia Eagles recruit Sean Desai as defensive coordinator, first Indian American in that position
The Philadelphia Eagles, a National Football League team, announced Feb. 28, 2023, that they have agreed to terms with Sean Desai to be the team’s new defensive coordinator.
Desai becomes the first Indian American to be in this position anywhere in the country. He replaces Jonathan Gannon, who was hired by the Arizona Cardinals to be their head coach.
“His overall knowledge of football and football IQ are extremely high,” Head Coach Nick Sirianni is quoted saying about Desai in a press release. “Great detail. He’s a really sharp coach. I’m excited that he’s on our staff.”
Desai served as the Seattle Seahawks’ associate head coach-defense in 2022. The Seahawks reached the playoffs as a Wild Card despite finishing second in the league in both snaps and games started by rookies.
Cornerback Tariq Woolen, a fifth-round pick, was a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after tying for the league lead with six interceptions. Three other defensive rookies, including nickel corner Coby Bryant, started several games for the Seahawks.
Sirianni added that while the addition of Desai presents a mystery for opposing offenses to prepare for this upcoming season, he liked some of the similarities to what the team has done that have been successful.
2023 will be Desai’s 11th season as a coach in the NFL. He started his coaching career at Temple (2007-10), where he was a graduate assistant for the defense and special teams while earning his doctorate in educational administration.
He entered the NFL ranks in 2013 as the quality control coach-defense for the Bears, working with the defensive backs/linebackers/special teams. Desai was named Bears’ safeties coach in 2019 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021.
As the son of immigrants, Desai was the first Indian American coordinator in NFL history. The Bears ranked sixth in total defense and third in passing defense that season.
In Chicago, Desai coached under noted defensive minds, including Vic Fangio, John Fox, Mel Tucker, and Chuck Pagano. Desai was a part of three different coaching staffs with the Bears, the press release noted.
Earlier on Feb. 28, the Eagles officially named Brian Johnson as the new offensive coordinator and announced additional moves on the offensive coaching staff.