3 Things to Know About Potential New Seahawks Hire Ed Donatell

Ed Donatell Seattle Seahawks coaching staff

Getty The Seattle Seahawks added Ed Donatell to their defensive coaching staff.


he Seattle Seahawks have answered some questions about their defensive coaching staff for the 2022 season. On Feb. 4, The Seattle Times’ Adam Jude and Bob Condotta reported the Seahawks were expected to promote Clint Hurtt to defensive coordinator. Hurtt served as the team’s defensive line coach from 2017-21.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the same day that former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell will join the Seahawks staff in a senior defensive role.

Hurtt has never been a defensive coordinator at any level in his coaching career, but Donatell brings a lot of experience to the table for Hurtt, and the rest of the Seattle defensive staff, to lean on in 2022.

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Here is what Seahawks fans need to know about Donatell:

1. Ed Donatell Is Entering His 32nd NFL Season

The 65-year-old has been coaching in the NFL since 1990. Only four Seahawks 2021 starters — Russell Wilson, Duane Brown, Bobby Wagner and Al Woods — were alive when Donatell began his first season in the league.

Over his more than three decades in the NFL, Donatell has coached with the Broncos, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears.

He started his NFL career with the Jets in 1990 as the team’s secondary coach. Donatell held that position for five seasons before becoming the Broncos defensive backs coach in 1995.

Donatell has spent three different stints with the Broncos. He remained the team’s defensive backs coach until the end of the 1999 season and then returned as Denver’s secondary coach in 2009 and 2010.

Most recently, Donatell served as Denver’s defensive coordinator from 2019-21.

Donatell was also defensive coordinator in Green Bay and Atlanta. He has 10 seasons of experience as an NFL defensive coordinator.

The only season Donatell hasn’t coach in the NFL since 1990 was 2008. He spent that year as defensive coordinator at the University of Washington.

Before joining the NFL, Donatell coached with five college programs from 1979-89.

2. Ed Donatell Has Won Two Super Bowls, Three Conference Championships

Donatell’s career has success in addition to longevity. During his first tenure with the Broncos as defensive backs coach, he won two Super Bowls during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Then in the 2012 season, Donatell was on the 49ers defensive staff, which won the NFC Championship.

His best statistical season as an NFL defensive coordinator came in 2021. The Broncos were third in points allowed and eighth in yards allowed last season.

In 10 seasons as defensive coordinator, Donatell’s units have finished in the top 12 of scoring defense five times and in the top 12 of total yards allowed on four occasions.

3. Ed Donatell Has Worked With Pete Carroll & Vic Fangio

Coaching for so many different teams, Donatell has experience working with a lot of coaches. Most notably, he has more than five years of service time under both Pete Carroll and Vic Fangio.

Carroll was the Jets defensive coordinator when Donatell began his NFL coaching career in 1990. Donatell remained in his role as secondary coach when Carroll became Jets head coach in 1994.

Over the last 11 years, Donatell served under Fangio in three different places. Donatell was the 49ers secondary coach while Fangio was the San Francisco defensive coordinator from 2011-14. After John Harbaugh departed for Michigan following 2014, both Donatell and Fangio moved to Chicago for the same exact roles they had in San Francisco.

In 2019, Fangio became head coach of the Broncos. Donatell followed Fangio to the Mile High City to be Denver’s defensive coordinator.

During Donatell’s first tenure in Denver, he coached under then Broncos defensive coordinator Greg Robinson for five seasons.