INDIANAPOLIS — As the Eagles wind down their search for a defensive coordinator, one name is beginning to stand out: Sean Desai.
The Seahawks’ associate head coach and defensive assistant had an in-person second interview with the Eagles on Monday back in Philadelphia.
And according to an ESPN report, other candidates for the job are “bracing for Desai to get it.”
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After nine seasons with the Chicago Bears, Desai joined the Seahawks for the 2022 season under Pete Carroll, who raved about him at the combine on Tuesday morning.
“We had a great time. He’s really, really a brilliant football guy,” Carroll said. “The background and the information he holds, his access to information is really special. He helped us a ton getting going and making a year’s transition (the Seahawks changed defensive coordinators in 2022). We got along great. It was a good challenge for me. [Desai] comes from a different football background so it was fun to knock heads and always figure it out.”
Desai’s football background is rooted in the defensive scheme of Vic Fangio. The Eagles utilized a lot of those Fangio concepts in their defense under new Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon in 2022. And Fangio even served as a constant for the Eagles leading up to the Super Bowl, although Fangio reportedly worked with the offensive staff.
While the Eagles' defense struggled in the Super Bowl against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, the unit was very solid for most of last season.
If the Eagles want to use a similar scheme in 2022, then the 39-year-old Desai should be a strong candidate.
And as the search winds down, several other names have been crossed off the list. Vance Joseph ended up in Denver, Jim Leonhard pulled out of the race and Glenn Schumann is staying at Georgia. There have been no reported second interviews for Jesse Minter or Chris Shula.
From the outside, it appears that the race is coming down to Desai or top internal candidate Dennard Wilson, who is plenty qualified too. Wilson has been the Eagles’ defensive backs coach for two seasons and is very popular among his players.
While Desai held several different positions during his nine-year run with the Bears, he was their defensive coordinator in 2021 before the Bears fired head Matt Nagy and hired Matt Eberflus.
After working with Desai for just one season, Carroll thinks Desai has the characteristics to be a good defensive coordinator in the NFL.
“There’s no doubt,” Carroll said. There’s no doubt. Yeah.”