The Bears on Thursday interviewed defensive backs coach Ed Donatell for their vacant defensive coordinator position, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago also has interest in former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
After losing ex-DC Vic Fangio — who became the Broncos’ head coach — earlier this week, the Bears attempted to land former Jets head coach Todd Bowles as their new defensive play-caller, but he ultimately followed Bruce Arians to Tampa Bay. Fangio led a defensive unit which ranked first in nearly every defensive metric, and is so well-stocked with talent that, as Biggs notes, general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy shouldn’t have trouble generating interest in the open position.
Donatell has been a Fangio disciple since 2011, following the longtime DC to both San Francisco and Chicago as a defensive backs coach. He’s also served as a defensive coordinator for the Packers (2000-03), Falcons (2004-06), and Redskins (2008). Per Biggs, Donatell’s contract with the Bears has run out, and if he’s not promoted to DC in Chicago, he’s likely to leave to join Fangio in Denver. Donatell has already had two stints as the Broncos’ defensive backs coach.
Pagano, 58, didn’t coach last season after being fired by Indianapolis, but he’s generated plenty of interest during the 2019 hiring cycle. He interviewed for both the Packers and Broncos head coaching positions, and has since been mentioned as a DC candidate for the Jets, Browns, and Cardinals. Just today, Pagano interviewed for a defensive backs coach position with the Panthers.