After hearing members of the Bears defense speak over the past several months, there’s a clear consensus that the team expects an uptick, closer to their 2018 form, and that Sean Desai is going to be a key reason why they succeed.
“He’s a wizard,” Danny Trevathan said. “I keep saying wizard, but he’s smart with the calls. He loves football. I’m not even sure he went home this offseason because he loves football this much.”
“Oh man, he brings the juice,” said Bilal Nichols. “Coach Sean has been amazing so far. Everyday it’s energy. Everyday it’s excitement… It’s like we’re revamped, we got a whole new swagger about us.”
“New energy, a new vibe, new atmosphere, man,” said Tashuan Gipson. “We’ve got a new defensive coordinator, so obviously we want to play hard for him. And a lot of people have genuine love for Sean. This is his first opportunity and we want him to make the best of it. Anything that we can do specifically, speaking for myself, I’m gonna do what I can do to make sure that I put a good look out there for Sean.”
For every one of those quotes, there are five more I could’ve added to the list. And like Gipson mentioned, when you hear these players talk about Desai, it sounds and feels genuine. It’s not the generic lip service you always hear when a team hires a new coach, or signs a new player. Matt Nagy recognizes that too.
“All I can speak to is the volume and positivity that everybody has, and Sean's done a great job,” Nagy said. “It's authentic. It's very authentic… the energy is real. The trust is real. And the calmness is real, from all of us.”
Calmness is an interesting word to use when describing a ramp up to a preseason game, but in a way it makes sense. With so much positive energy coming from the defensive side of the ball, Nagy doesn’t have to worry about it as much as he does the offense. And while there are still concerns about the offensive line, the offense is probably in a better place this offseason than it has been at any point during Nagy’s tenure. Andy Dalton is a known commodity at quarterback, reliable and consistent. The team finally has the tight ends needed to run Nagy’s offense in Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham. Add in the bevy of new weapons available, like Marquise Goodwin, Damien Williams, Damiere Byrd, plus the expected growth from Darnell Mooney and Nagy has plenty of options to deploy, which should help him design creative plays, like we got used to seeing in 2018 and 2019.
“I've been as calm as I've ever been in my life,” Nagy said. “I'm just telling you. It's a good feeling. I appreciate these players. I appreciate these coaches. And I tell our guys, don't peak too soon, but we're excited.”