Before joining the Bears, O'Dea was the special teams coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004-05. O'Dea worked with Neil Rackers, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl following the 2005 season after he set an NFL record for most field goals in a season with 40, including a streak where he hit 31 consecutive field goals. The Cardinals set three NFL records in 2005: most field goals over 40 yards (19); most field goals by an individual (Rackers, 40) and most field goals by a team (43).
O'Dea, a wide receiver and defensive back at Lock Haven (PA), has also coached with the Detroit Lions (2002-03, special teams assistant), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-01 offensive/defensive assistant), San Diego Chargers (1994-95, defensive assistant) in the NFL. O'Dea coached in college at Penn State (1991-93), Virginia (1988-90), Cornell (1987) and Lock Haven (1986).