May 23, 2024


Bears hire former Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as defensive analyst

Pettine was the Packers defensive coordinator from 2018 to 2020

The Bears are bringing in an experienced former defensive coordinator to help guide 37-year-old, first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

Former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is joining Matt Nagy’s staff. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the news, and the Bears have since confirmed it.

Pettine served as the Packers’ defensive coordinator for three seasons from 2018 to 2020. Head coach Matt LaFleur and the Packers parted ways with Pettine, 54, after their loss in the NFC Championship Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month. The Packers moved on from Pettine despite the 2020 defense ranking in the top 10 in the NFL in yards per game and seventh against the pass.

Now, Pettine will exert his influence over the Packers’ biggest rival, the Bears.

The Bears hired Desai as defensive coordinator last month. Desai had previously been the safeties coach for the team. The Bears have since been busy filling out the remainder of their coaching staff after a number of departures.

They promoted Bill Shuey to outside linebackers coach. They brought in a number of outside hires: Chris Rumph as defensive line coach, Bill McGovern as inside linebackers coach and Michael Pitre as running backs coach. They also promoted quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

The defensive coaching staff, in particular, is somewhat light on NFL experience. Shuey has never been an NFL position coach. Rumph spent last year with the Texans, but coached at the college level the previous 18 years. McGovern has NFL experience, but spent last season coaching at Nebraska.

While Desai is an up-and-coming coach and a smart guy – he is a professor, after all – he’s untested as a defensive coordinator.

Enter Pettine.

Pettine served as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and 2015. He was previously a defensive coordinator under head coach Rex Ryan with the New York Jets from 2009 to 2012. Those Jets teams were one of the top defenses in the league and made back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game in 2009 and 2010.

Like Nagy, Pettine grew up and played high school ball in Pennsylvania. He coached at the high school level in Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001, before earning his first NFL gig with the Baltimore Ravens in 2002. Pettine coached with the Ravens in various roles until becoming the Jets defensive coordinator in 2009.

While a role like senior defensive analyst is typically out of the limelight, it figures that Pettine will be heavily involved in helping Desai revamp the Bears defense. Bringing in a coach with Pettine’s level of experience is a win for Nagy and the Bears.

Pettine should know a thing or two about how to beat the rivals up north, too.

Additional moves: The Bears also announced Wednesday that Mike Snyder had been promoted to offensive quality control coach/assistant quarterbacks coach. Henry Burris, who was a Bill Walsh Coaching Fellow, has been promoted to offensive quality control coach.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.