Chargers’ Renaldo Hill Joining Dolphins’ Staff; Derrick Ansley Promoted To DC

FEBRUARY 27: The Chargers announced a number of previously reported coaching moves on Monday, including confirmation that Ansley is the team’s new defensive coordinator. He will enter his first season as a coordinator at the NFL level with significant expectations, given the team’s playoff roster and the presence of Staley on the sidelines. The latter’s decision to allow Hill’s departure and thus pave the way for Ansley to ascend to this position will no doubt be the subject of considerable scrutiny, depending on the unit’s performance.

FEBRUARY 20: The Chargers are undergoing a significant shake-up on their defensive staff. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill is leaving the team to take on a position with the Dolphins (Twitter link). To fill his absence, Los Angeles is promoting Derrick Ansley as its new DC, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Hill, 44, will take on the role of defensive passing game coordinator in Miami. This move will allow him to work under new DC Vic Fangio once again; the pair worked together in Denver in 2019 and 2020. Hill was Fangio’s top target for his new defensive staff, Schefter adds, and Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is signing off on what is a demotion in title to allow him this reunion.

Hill had spent the past two seasons at the helm of the Chargers’ defense. His first campaign saw the team put up underwhelming numbers across the board, especially in the run game. That was met with a slew of offseason moves aimed at bolstering the unit, though the team’s return on those investments proved to be less fruitful than hoped. Los Angeles still ranked below-average in a number of categories in 2022, and their season came to an end on the back of a major second-half collapse against the Jaguars in the wild card round.

Now, Hill will take on a lesser role under Fangio, working with a unit whose secondary was an issue in 2022. The Dolphins ranked 27th in the league in passing yards allowed last season, and recorded only eight interceptions. That drove their efforts to replace Josh Boyer after three seasons overseeing the team’s defense, and the celebrated move of bringing Fangio aboard. Expectations will be raised on that side of the ball for the team heading into 2023 with their new-look staff.

Pelissero notes that, in addition to Ansley, Tom Donatell is being promoted. His new title will be secondary coach and passing game coordinator. Staley had been eyeing ways to give both Ansley and Donatell a larger workload on the team’s defense, per Pelissero (Twitter link), and Hill’s departure will allow him to do just that. The former joined the Chargers’ staff in 2021, working as defensive backs coach. That came after several coaching stops, mostly in the college ranks.

The 41-year-old worked as the Raiders’ DBs coach in 2018, before a two-year stint as DC at the University of Tennessee. This posting will be his first opportunity to lead a defense at the NFL level. Donatell received an interview request from the Dolphins earlier this month, but will now take on a larger role after choosing to remain in Los Angeles.

Today’s news means the Chargers will have new offensive and defensive coordinators in 2023. LA hired Kellen Moore as their OC immediately after his Cowboys tenure came to an end. While that has led to increased expectations on offense, questions will be raised about their prospects of taking a step forward defensively with a new (albeit familiar) face in place on that side of the ball.

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