Broncos hire Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator

Broncos hire Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator

After a quiet few days since Vic Fangio was appointed head coach of the Denver Broncos, they are making moves to fill a number of key coaching positions.

A day after the Broncos confirmed Hall of Fame guard Mike Munchak was taking up the role of offensive line coach — a position he held in Pittsburgh since 2014 — the Broncos confirmed the arrival of Ed Donatell as defensive coordinator to replace Joe Woods.

Donatell, 61, is a long-time assistant of Fangio, working together in both San Francisco and Chicago.

That relationship should work well for the Broncos with Fangio revealing in his introductory press conference that he will call the defensive plays.

While Fangio’s coaching area of expertise is with linebackers, Donatell is a defensive backs coach, and partial to some full-on coaching on the sidelines during games.

“Ed’s been an integral part of top-10 defenses for six of the last eight seasons in two different places, and he’s a great fit to be our defensive coordinator,” Fangio said.

“Having worked very closely with him for a number of years, Ed has a strong understanding of the entire defense from the front end to the back end, with the defensive backs being his specialty.”

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Donatell is also no stranger to Denver after two stints as a secondary coach. He was part of the Mike Shanahan’s coaching staff that won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII while in the Mile High City from 1995-1999, working under defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.

After NFL roles with the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, and the University of Washington, Donatell returned to Denver as part of Josh McDaniels’ staff from 2009 to 2010, working under defensive coordinators Mike Nolan and Wink Martindale.

“He’s a very good teacher and believes in the fundamentals in the classroom and on the field,” Fangio added.

“We’re thrilled to add Ed to our coaching staff and welcome him back to the Broncos.”

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The Broncos also announced that Brandon Staley, another Fangio assistant in Chicago, will be the outside linebackers coach.

While the offensive appointments remain a work in progress, it is no surprise that Fangio is filling out his staff with guys he trusts; who know his philosophies and, most importantly, helped bring success to defenses in San Francisco and Chicago.

About Paul Thomas 187 Articles
Paul is one of Broncos Europe's main contributors, based in London, England. When not providing us with the latest Denver Broncos news, he can be found in a sports bar watching any sport. A long-time Broncos fan, he tries to forget many of the bad pre-Manning years.

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