The Minnesota Vikings will have another new defensive coordinator next season.
The Vikings announced Thursday afternoon that they had fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after just one season with the franchise.
“Today I informed Ed Donatell that we will be moving in a different direction as defensive coordinator in 2023,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement, in part. “Although it was a difficult decision due to the huge respect I have for Ed as a person and a coach, I believe it is the right decision 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 players and coaches, and for his role in helping me as a first-year head coach at lay those foundations.”
Donatell has been coaching in the league since 1990. He worked as a defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos before joining the Vikings in 2022 – when O’Connell replaced Mike Zimmer.
While the team won 13 games last season, the second most in franchise history, Donatell’s defense was one of the league’s worst stats. The Vikings allowed 25.1 points per game, better than the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, and 388.7 yards per game, better than the Detroit Lions.
They were knocked out of the playoffs by the New York Giants on Sunday 31-24. The Vikings gave up 431 yards in that loss, and Giants quarterback Daniel Jones put up five scoring drives of at least 75 yards apiece.
It’s unclear who O’Connell will pick to replace Donatell next season, but he said in the statement that the search would “begin immediately”.
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