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The Broncos have their defensive coordinator

Henry Chisholm Avatar
January 16, 2019

New Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is bringing his right-hand man with him to Denver.

The Broncos reached an agreement to hire Ed Donatell as their new defensive coordinator, Tuesday night, as first reported by Mike Klis of KUSA. Donatell, 61, previously served as the Bears’ defensive backs coach for four years under Fangio. Fangio said during his introductory press conference that he would be the defensive play-caller while serving as head coach.

This is the second time Donatell has followed Fangio to a new team. Donatell coached under Fangio in San Francisco, but when Fangio took over the Bears defense in 2015, Donatell moved with him. For the past eight years, Donatell has been the defensive backs coach for a Fangio-coordinated defense.

The Bears interviewed Donatell for their defensive cordinator position after Fangio signed on with the Broncos, but opted instead for Chuck Pagano, another candidate for the Broncos’ head coach job.

Donatell is a 40-year coaching veteran, including 27 seasons in the NFL. He has two previous stints in Denver, both as defensive backs coach, from 1995-1999 and in 2010. His only NFL coordinating experience was from 2000-2006 when he ran defenses for the Packers and Falcons.

The Broncos also announced on Tuesday that they are hiring Brandon Staley as their outside linebackers coach. He coached on Fangio’s staff in Chicago in the same role for the past two seasons. Staley has progressed quickly through the coaching ranks, taking his second NFL job at age 36.


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