Donatell, 61-years old, has been with the Bears since 2015 when he came in with head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. With Fangio hired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, Donatell is the one guy on staff that has the chops to take over as defensive play caller and he would ensure that the current terminology remain intact.
Donatell has worked for Fangio as his secondary coach since 2011 when the two were on staff with the San Francisco 49ers. His first professional coaching job was in 1990 as the DB coach of the New York Jets, and most of his coaching career was spent in that capacity.
He was the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers from 2000 to 2003, and with the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006. It’s interesting to note that during his eight years running an NFL defense he ran a 4-3 base.
In 2007 he was a special assistant with the Jets under head coach Eric Mangini and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton who ran a 3-4 defense. Sutton has been the defensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs since 2013.
Donatell spent 2008 as the defensive coordinator for the Washington Huskies, but then it was back to the NFL as a secondary coach for the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010. Those years in Denver were also spent working in a 3-4 scheme under Mike Nolan (‘09) and then Don Martindale (‘10).
Promoting Donatell would provide a seamless transition for the Bears and head coach Matt Nagy as they try to build off their 12 win 2018 season.
In the Biggs’ article he also wrote that the Bears have interest in former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano to replace Fangio.
Pagano, 58, has interviewed with the Panthers, who have a vacancy for a secondary coach but might rearrange titles on the staff with coach Ron Rivera running the defense again. Pagano sat out this season but could have options; the Browns and Cardinals have also been reported to have interest in him as a defensive coordinator.
Pagano was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens in 2011, and he also has some collegiate experience as a defensive play caller with UNLV (1991) and North Carolina (2007).