The Chicago Bears want versatility on defense in 2021

New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack

As the Chicago Bears head into the 2021 season, one intriguing spot on the roster is the entire defense. Set to have its third defensive coordinator in four seasons, Sean Desai will now attempt to do what his former teacher in Vic Fangio did: Get the Bears back to being dominant. To get back to a dominant level, Desai needs to figure out how to maximize all the talent at his disposal.

Despite being a first-year defensive coordinator, Desai has seen the rise and fall of the Bears defense. The only member on the Bears coaching staff leftover from the Marc Trestman days, Desai saw the defensive overhaul that took place from 2015-2018, the historic Bears 2018 defense, and the regression that ensued in 2019 and 2020.

Now that Desai will command the unit, he’s made clear that his expectations are to be a top defense once again. For the Bears to reach those goals, it’ll be about putting all the pieces together.



“The good thing about our teaching philosophies is that we try and make sure guys know multiple spots,” Desai said via the Bears official Youtube page. “That helps us on gameday with the depth and that’s been a philosophy of mine and our defensive staff since the beginning.”

An advantage that Desai will have compared to last offseason is more practice time on the field, compared to just virtually. With Chicago back at Halas Hall this week, the goal is that players who lost valuable reps last season have an opportunity to prove themselves in training camp.

“Players that want to get better will get better,” Desai said. “We’re going to provide the teaching, resources, and system to help those guys get better. They know what our standards are going to be. They know how we want to practice. They know what the expectation is and that’s going to make everyone better.”

Desai knows how good the Bears defense can perform when every player is fully focused and giving 110 percent. The Bears do have options at cornerback, linebacker, and the defensive line. Add in solid depth across the entire unit and it’s clear that Desai is looking for versatility that will allow players to continue to succeed, which will then benefit the unit as a whole.