The Bears are going with a first-time defensive coordinator for next season but will bring in an experienced staffer to help the cause. Mike Pettine and the Bears agreed to terms on a deal that will make him a senior defensive assistant, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Pettine will stay in the NFC North, doing so as part of Sean Desai‘s staff. The Packers ended Pettine’s three-year stay as their defensive coordinator last month.
An NFL staffer since 2002, Pettine has been either a head coach or DC in 10 seasons. This will mark a step down for the 54-year-old assistant, but he will supply Desai with experience and considerable familiarity with the Bears’ top rival. Against the Bears last season, Pettine’s defense fared well in two blowouts. The Packers have since brought in Joe Barry to oversee their defense.
While Pettine’s Packers finale did not go especially well, his final two Green Bay defenses ranked in the top half in points allowed. DVOA was less kind to Pettine’s units, placing the most recent one 17th. Prior to his Green Bay stay, Pettine spent two seasons as the Browns’ head coach, one as the Bills’ defensive coordinator and four as the Jets’ DC.
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