Sean Desai Named Defensive Coordinator: Brandon Robinson Breaks it Down.

| January 25th, 2021


Sean Desai  is the only defensive coordinator in the sport with this in his Wikipedia page:

…received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science, with a minor in biology, from Boston University in 2004. Desai earned a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education from Columbia University in 2005. Desai earned his doctorate in educational administration in 2008 at Temple University, and was an adjunct professor for two years.

Now, that passage would not exactly qualify him to be the defensive coordinator of a professional football team. But Desai has been praised for his schematic acumen, has earned the love of the guys in the locker room, and comes with a resounding endorsement from Vic Fangio. From a piece quoting Vic in USA Today:

“Right off the bat, his work ethic was really good and he quickly learned our system that we were putting in and grew with it over the four years that I was there,” Fangio said, “and I when I say grew with it, he was there with the logical progression that we went through with the players we had from the start to the players we ended up with… He’s had a good mix of coaching an up-front position and a secondary position which gave him a good understanding and a good overall view of our system and our defense at that time. That should give him a good head start on all that and that is a big part of it. The front has to marry with the back end and vice versa.” 


Brandon Robinson is someone I had never communicated with until very recently but his thread breaking down the Fangio/Brandon Staley defensive concepts – and projecting those concepts for Desai – is about as informative a collection of Tweets as you’ll ever find on that public toilet of a website. I’m stringing out those Tweets here, in column form, and posting video/imagery when necessary. (Thanks to Brandon for approving this and be sure to give him a follow.)

Every word that follows is from Brandon.


Bears ’18/LAR ’20 thread A lot of what I’ll be showing is the ideals that Staley has talked about and Fangio has shown when he was in CHI. All three worked together and have the same innovative thinking. In today’s NFL the objective is to create a numbers advantage in pass game.

By numbers advantage I mean if the offense has two receivers to one side of the field then the defense would have three COVERAGE defenders to that side of the field. One way Staley/Fangio get those numbers is take defenders out of the box. Fine with being 6v6 in the run game.

You can still stop the run but you have to have players that can two gap on the DL. Luckily the #Bears have multiple players that can do so (Mack, Hicks, Goldman, Nichols).



2 high shell coverages: These are coverages that every single team in the NFL runs (cover 2, 4, 6) The difference is that this is the base look of the D. That means that no matter what formation the O comes out in they’re showing two safeties up top.

Seems simple but all the other teams in the NFL arent doing it. Light boxes indicates the priority to get numbers to the pass defense instead of the run D. Other teams dont want to appear “inferior” in the run game. This goes back to the “stop the run” way of thinking.



Everyone that covers football focuses on how the offensive coaches are forward thinking in their ways of the pass mattering more than the run while there are a ridiculous amount of Cover 3 DCs in the NFL. You can’t create a numbers advantage in the NFL running vanilla Cover 3.

Yet this coaching cycle ALL of the interviews around the league were going to the Cover 3 coaches. But the #Bears DC search was centered around coaches that have backgrounds in two high coverage defenses.



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