CLEVELAND (AP)The Cleveland Browns began the second week of their search for a new defensive coordinator by interviewing their fourth candidate, Seattle associate head coach Sean Desai.
The 39-year-old Desai visited the Browns’ training facility on Monday, two days after the Seahawks were eliminated from the playoffs.
Desai has been with the Seahawks for one season after serving as Chicago’s defensive coordinator in 2021. He spent nine seasons with the Bears after pursuing a career in academic administration.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Desai had a major role in Seattle’s success during his first season with the team.
”He brings a wealth of experience in the system and in the scheme,” Carroll said Monday. ”The connection that he has with (defensive coordinator) Clint (Hurtt) was really valuable as they put stuff together. He factors into a lot of different things. He has a lot of input in different areas with the defense.
”He’s a valuable guy that helps coaches different guys. He’s coached the linebackers some, helps coach the nickels and the safeties. We have kind of a unique role for him and hope we can get him to come back. Wish the best for him but hoping he’ll come back.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski followed up a disappointing season by firing coordinator Joe Woods, who failed to get his unit to play consistently in 2022. Woods was with Cleveland for three seasons.
The Browns already have met with former Lions coach and Titans senior adviser Jim Schwartz, Steelers defensive assistant Brian Flores and Eagles passing game coordinator Dennard Wilson.
Flores, who was hired in Pittsburgh by Mike Tomlin after his controversial firing in Miami, has drawn head coaching interest elsewhere.
Only Desai and Schwartz have experience as coordinators among the four candidates to meet with the Browns so far.
The Seahawks were eliminated from the playoffs Saturday with a 41-23 loss to San Francisco in the wild-card round.
With Desai on the staff, Seattle’s defense ranked 25th in scoring (23.6) and 26th in yards allowed (361.7). The Seahawks were bad against the run, ranking 30th (150.2), and that also was Cleveland’s major deficiency this season.
Desai started his NFL career as a defensive quality control coach for the Bears in 2013. He coached the team’s safeties before being promoted to coordinator in 2021.
AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Seattle contributed.
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