The coach thought to be taking over the defense in Minnesota has officially been hired. Ed Donatell is the new defensive coordinator of the Vikings, reports Ben Goessling of The Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).
It was reported yesterday that Donatell was the favorite for the position. With the move now confirmed, soon-to-be head coach Kevin O’Connell will have a very experienced lieutenant on the defensive side of the ball. Donatell, 65, has been an NFL coach for 31 years; 10 of those have been as a DC.
Donatell had spent the past three seasons as the Broncos’ DC, although head coach Vic Fangio called the plays. In 2021, Denver allowed the third fewest points per game in the league (18.9), and ranked eighth in yards allowed (326.1). It had been his third stint with the team, having worked as a secondary coach at two points a decade apart from each other.
One of the most interesting aspects of this story is the fact that Donatell had agreed to take on an assistant role with the Seahawks not long after he interviewed with them. Instead of reuniting with Pete Carroll, he will change course to take a fourth DC position. The Vikings ranked 24th in scoring defense last season, and 30th in yards allowed. They will at least have a highly qualified coach leading the unit as they look to rebound in 2022.