Nearly two weeks after being allowed to depart the Green Bay Packers as defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine will remain in the NFC North after being hired by the Chicago Bears Wednesday as a senior defensive assistant.
The Bears announced the move to add the experienced voice in Pettine, a former defensive coordinator with three teams, to the defensive staff under new coordinator Sean Desai. The 37-year-old Desai has never been a defensive coordinator in his coaching career.
Pettine, 54, spent the past three seasons in charge of the Green Bay defense. Technically, Pettine was not fired after this past season, but his contract was expiring and the team decided to let him leave the organization in the aftermath of the NFC Championship game loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24.
This past season with Green Bay, Pettine's defense ranked in the NFL's top 10 in both total defense (ninth, 334.0 total yards allowed per game) and pass defense (seventh, 221.2 pass yards allowed per game). But he took public criticism from Packers head coach Matt LaFleur for calling man coverage late in the first half in the Tampa Bay loss, resulting in a touchdown pass shortly before halftime in a 31-26 defeat.
In addition to serving as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets (2009-12), Buffalo Bills (2013) and Packers (2018-20), Pettine was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons in 2014-15. The Browns were 10-22 under his watch.
(Field Level Media)