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Bears hire former Packers DC Mike Pettine as senior defensive assistant

The 54-year-old will give the Bears an experienced defensive mind as they hand the defensive coordinator reins over to Sean Desai.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have hired former Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be their new senior defensive assistant, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.

Pettine, 54, will serve as an experienced face on the defensive coaching staff to aid Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who is entering his first stint as a defensive coordinator in the NFL.

Most recently, Pettine held the defensive coordinator role for the Packers from 2018 to 2020. In his three seasons with the team, Green Bay’s defense placed 29th, 15th and 17th in DVOA, respectively. He was let go after their loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship.

His stint with the Packers was Pettine’s third run as a defensive coordinator in the NFL, having served in the role for the Jets from 2009 to 2012, as well as the Bills in 2013. Pettine was then hired as the head coach of the Browns the following year but would be fired after going a combined 10-22 in his two seasons at the helm.

Though Pettine was the subject of criticism during his tenure in Green Bay, he is still an experienced defensive mind who has been able to get solid results out of his players, particularly in the front-seven. He will be entering his 21st season as a coach in the NFL in 2021, which is a testament to how he is viewed around the league. The Bears bringing him in gives the 37-year-old Desai an accomplished colleague with whom he can consult as he adjusts to taking over control of Chicago’s defensive unit.