The Minnesota Vikings will have another new defensive coordinator next season.
The Vikings fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatella after one season with the franchise, the team announced Thursday.
“I informed Ed Donatelle today that we will be moving in a different direction in 2023 as defensive coordinator,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said in part. “While it was a difficult decision due to the huge respect I have for Ed as a person and coach, I believe it is the right move for the future of our football team.
“I want to thank Ed for his commitment to the Vikings last season, for the positive impact he had on our player and coaches, and for his role in helping me, as a freshman head coach, lay this foundation.” .
Donatell has been coaching the league in some way since 1990. He served as defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos before joining the Vikings in 2022 when O’Connell replaced Mike Zimmer.
Although the team has won 13 games this season, the second most in franchise history, Donatella’s defense has been one of the worst-stated in the league. The Vikings had 25.1 points per game, better than only the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, and 388.7 yards per game, better than only the Detroit Lions.
The Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Giants on Sunday, 31–24. The Vikings lost 431 yards in that loss, with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throwing five hits of at least 75 yards each.
It’s unclear who O’Connell will choose to replace Donatella next season, but he said in a statement that the search “will start immediately”.