Bam. Now that Vic Fangio has gone to Denver, Ryan Pace is faced with his next task as the Bears GM: find a new defensive coordinator.
Which means, we have another edition of “Ryan Pace’s Shoes” here at Branded Sports.
So here’s what I would do with the current defensive coordinator search…
Yesterday, the Bears interviewed “Eddie D” Ed Donatell, Bears defensive backs coach, for their opening at defensive coordinator (RIP Vic), per “Biggsy” Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Also on the Bears radar is Chuck Pagano, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and former defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, I like Chuck Pagano. He has the ultimate comeback story of overcoming leukemia in 2012 and donned the headset for 5 seasons as the Colts head coach after that. Although his tenure in Indy ended poorly with a 4-12 season, the man is still widely respected across the league as a great defensive mind – his Ravens defense was ranked 3rd in total yards allowed back in 2011.
However…no disrespect to him, I want Ed Donatell to be the Bears next defensive coordinator.
Continuity is so damn important right now for the Bears as they enter the 2019-20 season and Eddie D can give that to them. Being the Bears defensive backs coach for the past 4 seasons, Donatell knows the Bears scheme inside and out. Under his leadership, not much would change and the Bears can make a smooth transition next year as opposed to bringing on a completely new staff. He also is responsible for making both Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller All-Pros this season, oversaw the ascension of Adrian Amos and has helped Prince Amukamara have two of his best seasons as an NFL veteran. Not to mention, he also turned Bryce Callahan into a viable nickelback after only being an undrafted free agent. The guy knows his shit.
Plus, hiring Donatell would give Matt Nagy peace of mind that he wouldn’t have to constantly check on the defense as head coach. A big part of the Bears’ success this season was the fact that Nagy could focus on the offense and Vic Fangio could focus on the defense – I say, keep that train a rollin’.
And it’s not like the man doesn’t have any experience under his belt – he was DC for the Packers from 2000-2003 and DC for the Falcons from 2004-2006. I was curious about the two teams’ defensive rankings under Donatell and took a look at the stats (these rankings are based on total yards allowed, which I know is skeptical, but it’s what I’m gonna use):
Green Bay Packers (2000-2003)
- 2000: 15th
- 2001: 12th
- 2002: 12th
- 2003: 17th
Atlanta Falcons (2004-2006)
- 2004: 14th
- 2005: 22nd
- 2006: 22nd
Across the board…not too bad. I know those numbers don’t blow anyone’s hair back, but Donatell put out a defense every year that was competitive. And let’s face it, he never had the talent that he’s possibly going to inherit from Fangio’s Bears unit. Who knows what this dude can do with Mack, Hicks, Jackson, Fuller, Floyd, Roquan, Trevathan and everyone else under his control.
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