It’s not officially official just yet, but we are pretty much there:
The Broncos have reached an agreement with Ed Donatell to be their defensive coordinator, per source. Donatell spent the last eight seasons with Vc Fangio, as the DBs coach in San Fran and Chicago.
He was previously the Broncos’ secondary coach from 1995-99 and in 2010.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) January 16, 2019
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) January 16, 2019
Ed Donatell is set to join the Denver Broncos as their defensive coordinator. And even though Head Coach Vic Fangio will make the defensive play calls, the move to Denver is a step up for Donatell after spending the last four years in Chicago coaching the Bears’ secondary. Donatell becomes the latest ex-Bears assistant coach to follow Fangio to Denver. Outside Linebackers Coach Brandon Staley was not retained and will assume that same position with the Broncos, where he will coach Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. That’s good work if you can get it.
The Bears hired Chuck Pagano to take over as the defensive coordinator, and while he might be eager to get back into the swing of things from a coaching standpoint, I hope he is as eager to put a strong staff of assistants together. As it stands, Chicago has openings at Linebackers Coach, Outside Linebackers Coach, Defensive Backs Coach, and Assistant Defensive Backs Coach. The only coaches currently on the Bears’ staff are Jay Rodgers (Defensive Line), Sean Desai (Defensive Quality Control), and Bill Shuey (Defensive Quality Control) but there aren’t necessarily any assurances any of those coaches will be back because it’s possible a team could try to poach them with a promotion elsewhere.
There isn’t necessarily a need to fill these positions right away, as making the right decision as far as the hires are concerned is what’s most important here. The changes on the defensive side of the ball won’t be limited to the play caller, but the Bears will need to hire qualified candidates in order to give themselves a fighter’s chance at repeating their 2018 excellence.