Kevin O’Connell’s response when asked about Ed Donatell’s future

Kevin O’Connell’s response when asked about Ed Donatell’s future

Ed Donatell’s defense didn’t come through on the big stage.

After being shredded by Daniel Jones and the New York Giants in a playoff loss Sunday in Minneapolis, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was blitzed with numerous questions about what he can do to improve the team for 2023. 

No person was under the heat lamp more than defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, whose defense surrendered five scoring drives of 75-plus yards to the Giants as the bend-don’t-break approach failed on the biggest stage. 

Minutes after the Vikings’ season came to a crashing halt in a 31-24 loss to the Giants, O’Connell was asked if he’s considering making changes at defensive coordinator. 

“I think Ed [Donatell] tried to do the best he could this year across the board, installing the defense and the scheme that we manifested together and hoped that it would come to life. He worked his absolute tail off and his commitment to try and make some adjustments and improve was there each and every week all season long,” O’Connell said. 

“I’m going to look at every aspect, special teams, offense, defense, personnel with [General Manager Kwesi-Adofo Mensah] all across the board. How we can improve schematically? All those things are really for a different time and different conversations once we’ve had a chance to collect ourselves and evaluate what took place this year.”

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Minnesota’s defense allowed 265.6 pass yards per game and 7.7 yards per completion, which ranked No. 31 and No. 30 respectively in the NFL during the regular season. It was no different against the Giants as they allowed 286 passing yards and 11.9 yards per completion. 

Daniel Jones has thrown for 300-plus yards three times this season and two of them were against the Vikings.

“There was some issues with explosive, big plays again tonight,” O’Connell said. “Across the board, we’re going to take a look at everything. That’s my job. I’m responsible.”

Donatell has long been under the microscope in Minnesota and his future is certainly unknown as O’Connell and the Vikings look to make improvements during a long offseason for the 2023-24 NFL season. 

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