The first candidate that comes to mind to replace Fangio is his top lieutenant, Ed Donatell. Currently serving as the team’s defensive backs coach, the nearly 30-year NFL coaching veteran has only once previously served as a defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2008. That year, the Redskins ranked fourth in total defense.
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Why he’ll get the job
The most obvious reason Donatell will get the job is his familiarity with both head coach Matt Nagy, and the players. This season, Nagy took a hands-off approach with the defense, allowing Vic complete autonomy. He could only do that with someone he trusts and gets along with. Having that level of comfort and familiarity with Nagy is a positive for Donatell.
The other reason is the work he’s done with the team’s secondary. Think about the vast improvement Fuller has shown over the past three years — from cast-off to All-Pro. Donatell certainly had a hand in that. What about the work he did with Bryce Callahan to make him one of the league’s best (if not the best” nickel cornerback. How about the season that ballhawk Eddie Jackson had this year, on his way to his first All-Pro season?
Why he won’t get the job
It is certainly possible that Vic takes Ed with him to Denver to be his own defensive coordinator. Interesting to note that Ed is not under contract with the Bears next year, which means he had visions of testing the market before the season even began, so one can assume he wanted another crack at the DC role.
However, in Denver, it’s likely Fangio will be the de facto defensive coordinator, just like Nagy is the real offensive coordinator in Chicago. Donatell may want to truly run his own show, and for that reasons, the Bears job may be more attractive.