Four days after a season-ending loss to the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings announced the end of defensive coordinator Ed Donatella’s tenure at the club.
Donatell was fired after one season on Thursday by the Vikings, who released statement with head coach Kevin O’Connell explaining the decision.
“I informed Ed Donatelle today that we will be moving in a different direction in 2023 as defense coordinator. While this was a difficult decision due to the tremendous respect I have for Ed as a person and coach, I believe this is the right move for the future of our football team,” O’Connell said in a statement released via the team. “I want to thank Ed for his commitment to the Vikings last season, for the positive impact he had on our players and coaches, and for his role in helping me, as a freshman head coach, lay this foundation. . We all wish Ed and his wife, Shari, only the best in the future.
“We will immediately begin searching for this important role as we continue to create the championship standard for the Minnesota Vikings.”
Donatella’s dismissal was hardly a surprise. The longtime NFL assistant has been under fire for most of his freshman season in Minnesota, and those flames only intensified after the Vikings’ 31-24 loss Sunday, when Giants quarterback Daniel Jones split Minnesota’s defense and led a try that scored 431 yard. resentment.
By the time Wednesday rolled around, O’Connell was already dancing around questions about Donatella’s future, saying coaching evaluation is an ongoing process that could go on until the end of the week. However, the entry was on the wall before it was included in Thursday’s statement.
Donatell, who was previously the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos, joined the Vikings as part of O’Connell’s first headquarters. Although Minnesota had a surprising record of success on a win-loss record, the defense struggled for the most part. The Vikings led a staggering 11-0 in one-point games throughout the regular season, but that magic wore off in the playoffs as Donatella’s D allowed 30 or more points in a game for the sixth time.
Minnesota finished the season 28th in points scored and 31st in yards. Thanks to a stellar offense and perhaps a few bounces in the right direction, the Vikings won the NFC North despite their defensive inefficiency, but as the season ran out, so did Donatella’s tenure.
Donatell, 65, joined the NFL coaching staff back in 1990 with the New York Jets, and it’s fair to assume that he could soon take over on the staff.
As for the Vikings, the search, O’Connell stated, has begun searching for a defense coordinator who can form a unit that is too far behind its assault in the 2022 campaign.