Mike Pettine’s 18th season as an NFL coach can be spent with the Chicago Bears. Pettine, who most lately served because the Packers defensive coordinator, will be part of the Bears’ employees as a senior defensive assistant, the staff introduced.
Pettine, 54, spent three years in Inexperienced Bay earlier than the staff elected to not renew his contract following the staff’s loss to Tampa Bay within the NFC Championship Recreation. Throughout his time in Inexperienced Bay from 2018-20, the Packers completed twenty second, ninth, and thirteenth within the NFL in scoring protection, respectively. In 2020, Inexperienced Bay’s protection completed seventh within the NFL in passing, thirteenth in dashing, tied for eighth in sacks, tied for twenty sixth in turnovers pressured, tenth in third down effectivity and eighth in purple zone effectivity. Professional Bowl linebacker Za’Darius Smith had 7.5 extra sacks than the subsequent closest Packer, Rashan Gary. The Packers’ different Professional Bowler on the defensive facet was cornerback Jaire Alexander, who broke up a team-high 13 passes.
The Packers’ choice to half with Pettine got here simply days after the staff’s 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers. Whereas Pettine’s unit held Tampa Bay to 19 first downs and 2-of-8 on third down, the Packers couldn’t overcome Tom Brady’s three landing passes within the recreation’s first 31 minutes. Inexperienced Bay’s protection additionally allowed a 20-yard landing run by Leonard Fournette, because the Buccaneers stormed out to a 28-10 lead.
With their deficit lower to 5 factors, the Packers’ protection wanted to get a cease with 2:05 remaining. However two pricey penalties enabled the Buccaneers to maintain the ball for the rest of the sport.
Earlier than his time with the Packers, Pettine served because the Jets defensive coordinator when New York made consecutive AFC title recreation appearances in 2009-10. He spent one 12 months because the Payments defensive coordinator earlier than going 10-22 as head coach of the Browns from 2014-15.
Pettine will work alongside new Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who beforehand served as Chicago’s safeties coach. A member of the Bears’ employees since 2013, Desai is changing Chuck Pagano, who retired from teaching shortly after the 2020 season got here to a detailed.
Final season, the Bears boasted the league’s Twelfth-best go protection. Chicago was additionally eighth within the NFL in third down effectivity and fifth in purple zone effectivity. Tashaun Gipson, Chicago’s beginning free security, completed the season in a tie for the staff lead in interceptions. Robust security Eddie Jackson, a Professional Bowler the earlier two seasons, set profession highs in tackles (82) and compelled fumbles (three) in the course of the 2020 season. The success of their backfield helped the Bears clinch a playoff berth for the second time in Matt Nagy’s three seasons as coach.
Desai, Pettine and the remainder of the Bears’ defensive teaching employees can have a gifted group to work with in 2021. Together with Jackson, linebacker Khalil Mack and cornerback Kyle Fuller, the Bears’ protection may also embody linebackers Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan. One of many NFL’s greatest Professional Bowl snubs, Smith tallied 139 tackles, 4 sacks and two interceptions final season. Trevathan completed second on the staff with 113 tackles.
Two areas the Bears’ protection must enhance in 2021 are turnovers and go rush. Chicago was simply twenty fifth within the NFL in pressured turnovers final season. Their 35 staff sacks have been good for seventeenth within the league.