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Bears hire Deshea Townsend as defensive backs coach

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Townsend will be replacing the recently-departed Ed Donatell in the role.

Arizona Cardinals
Deshea Townsend is now the defensive backs coach for the Bears.
Photo by NFL via Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have made some additions to their coaching staff, hiring Deshea Townsend as their new defensive backs coach. They also hired Ronell Williams as their defensive quality control coach.

Townsend, 43, spent the 2018 season as the assistant defensive backs coach for the New York Giants. The Giants finished the season with 17 interceptions, a mark that ranked seventh in the league. Prior to the gig, he served as the defensive backs coach for the Tennessee Titans from 2016 to 2017. Under his watch, Kevin Byard developed into a first-team All-Pro, tallying eight interceptions in 2017. Townsend was also an assistant defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals in his first two seasons as a coach, helping develop Patrick Peterson into an All-Pro in just his rookie season.

Townsend spent 13 seasons playing as a cornerback in the NFL, with 12 of them coming with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He won two Super Bowls in his career, and tallied 21 interceptions, 85 pass deflections, 379 total tackles and 15.5 sacks. He served as a starter in Pittsburgh for much of the mid-2000s.

He will have very big shoes to fill, as he will be replacing Ed Donatell, who recently departed to become the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos under new head coach - and former Bears defensive coordinator - Vic Fangio. However, with most of the starting secondary expected to return in 2019, the unit should still perform at a high level.

Williams has experience with the Bears’ coaching staff, participating in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship and working with the team’s coaches in 2018. He has been on the coaching staff for Temple for the past two seasons, working as a graduate assistant in 2017 and a defensive analyst in 2018.