Bears coach Matt Nagy on Friday announced three promotions within his coaching staff. Deshea Townsend, who was hired Jan. 18 as defensive backs coach, will now carry the title of secondary coach, while Sean Desai and Bill Shuey have been promoted from defensive quality control coaches to safeties coach and defensive pass analyst/assistant linebackers coach, respectively.
Townsend has spent 18 seasons in the NFL, 13 as a player and five as an assistant coach. Selected by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 1998 draft out of Alabama, he played 12 of his 13 pro seasons as a cornerback with Pittsburgh.
Townsend appeared in 191 games with 80 starts for the Steelers (1998-2009) and Colts (2010), registering 428 tackles, 21 interceptions, 15.5 sacks, three touchdowns, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He was a key member of Steelers teams that beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL and the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. Townsend helped secure Pittsburgh’s win over Seattle with a late sack of Matt Hasselbeck.
Townsend has spent five seasons as an NFL assistant defensive backs coach with the Cardinals (2011-12), Titans (2016-17) and Giants (2018). A player he worked with was voted to the Pro Bowl with all three teams.
In Arizona, he helped cornerback Patrick Peterson earn back-to-back Pro Bowl invitations in 2011-12 as well as AP All-Pro honors as a rookie in 2011.
With the Titans in 2017, Townsend coached safety Kevin Byard, who was voted to the Pro Bowl after tying for the NFL lead with eight interceptions.
In 2018, Townsend coached safety Landon Collins, who also earned Pro Bowl honors. Collins was second among NFL defensive backs with 96 tackles before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury he sustained Dec. 3 against the Bears.
From 2013-15, Townsend was the cornerbacks coach at Mississippi State. In 2014, he helped the Bulldogs defense lead the nation in passes defensed (89).
Desai enters his seventh season with the Bears. He served as defensive quality control coach the past six years under head coaches Marc Trestman (2013-14), John Fox (2015-17) and Matt Nagy (2018). As a quality control assistant, Desai worked with the Bears’ defensive backs and linebackers while also assisting the special teams coaches.
Desai earned his doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis in higher education, at Temple in May 2008, serving as an adjunct professor at the school in 2009 and 2010, teaching in the master's and doctoral programs in education administration.
Shuey enters his second season with the Bears. He previously spent six seasons at Widener (2014-17) and West Chester (2012-13) Universities and 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, including three as the team’s linebackers coach.
Shuey spent eight of his 10 seasons with the Eagles on coach Andy Reid’s staff. He served four years as a defensive coach, working directly under defensive coordinators Jim Johnson and Sean McDermott. Prior to that he spent four seasons as an offensive assistant working under coordinators Brad Childress and Marty Mornhinweg.