Cleveland is in the market for a new defensive coordinator after parting ways with Joe Woods on Monday. Desai is the third name linked to the Browns job after linebacker coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots and linebacker coach Brian Flores of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The #Browns have put in a request to interview #Seahawks associate head coach for defense Sean Desai for their vacant DC job, source said. He's been impressive in Seattle, and brings the Cleveland candidate list to three -- Jerod Mayo and Brian Flores are the others.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2023
Desai is finishing his first year with the Seahawks by preparing for the playoffs after spending nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. He joined the Bears in 2013 as a defensive quality control coach before moving to coaching the safeties for two years (2019 and 2020) and then serving as defensive coordinator in 2021.
With Seattle out of the playoffs, Desai will interview with the Browns today:
We will interview Sean Desai today for our defensive coordinator opening— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 16, 2023
The fact that Desai lasted in Chicago through three coaching changes, going from Marc Trestman to John Fox and finally Matt Nagy, highlights his ability to adapt to changing circumstances, Trestman told seahawks.com in May:
“There’s not many guys who are able to do that. The ones who do, it’s their adaptability, their presence, their intelligence. There’s a lot that goes into it. When coaches are interviewing, they’re always looking to find people that they know, that they have experience with, so it says a lot about who he is and his ability to adapt and get along and work with others.”
Desai’s background as an educator – he earned a doctorate in educational administration from Temple University – is an asset in teaching players, Seattle defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt told the team’s website:
“How he teaches is definitely clear and concise, which is a very important thing. But also, as a teacher, he’s always thinking ahead. What is the next issue that’s going to come up, how people are going to attack you when you’re doing things a certain way. He’s very ahead when it comes to that, just thinking what is the next formula to come up with to solve the next problem? It makes him very unique.”
With all the communication issues the Browns had on defense this season, having someone who can clearly explain the assignments and responsibilities to the players sounds like a great idea.