With A Small Window, Experience Trumps All (1 Viewer)

St. PJ

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Drew Brees is 34. The Saints have a small window-- reasonably 3 or 4 more seasons of Drew in his prime. They can not afford to hire someone who has never called plays before as their next defensive coordinator. Simply put, that guy would have to learn on the job.

Sure, Sean Payton learned on the fly how to be a good head coach, but we aren't taking over a team with low expectations. We have a primed contender for the Lombardi every year #9 is behind center. The Saints defense is in shambles, and it isn't like they are already a force to be reckoned with. In addition, we're talking large philosophical wholesale changes.

To do that, you NEED someone who has done it before, and done it well. You need someone who has that knack for calling the right play at the right time, who knows when and how and WHERE to be aggressive -- a kind of "feel" that only comes with experience. We need someone who knows the 3-4 defense like the back of his hand. Someone who has built it from scratch. Someone who can make it work, using a hybrid defense with the players already on the team while slowly adding pieces over the next few years.

That hot-shot position coach who has never called plays won't do. That 3-4 coordinator who took over a well tuned defense with all the pieces in place already won't do. You need someone who has a record of turning poo into gold. Look what Wade Phillips did in Houston, or what Mike Nolan has done for Atlanta. They've had much experience transitioning defenses and have always had great success as coordinators.

I've heard the Saints are interested in Romeo Crennel. I think he is their insurance policy-- their back-up plan. The guy they want is a guy they can't interview right now because he's coaching a team in the Super Bowl. His name is Ed Donatell. They'll have competition for his services with the Eagles.

The Saints didn't decide to fire Spags yesterday. That decision has been made for some time. Likewise, if they wanted Romeo now, he'd be hired. Pat Kirwin has heard credible rumors and his first choice for our situation happens to be the guy he thinks is Payton's first choice - Eddie Donatell. For those of you without the benefit of Sirius Radio and the "people's GM" Pat Kirwin, here is the bio from the 49 site on Ed (bold is what impressed me):




Ed Donatell is in his second season with the 49ers after being hired as the team’s secondary coach on January 19, 2011.

Working with assistant secondary coach Greg Jackson, Donatell helped guide the 49ers defensive backfield, in 2011, to 22 interceptions, which ranked second among all NFL secondaries. S Dashon Goldson and CB Carlos Rogers each recorded a career-high six interceptions and both were selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Rogers was named a starter in Hawaii, while also being selected Second-Team All-Pro. The defense finished the season ranked fourth in the NFL in percentage of attempts intercepted (3.9).

With over three decades of coaching experience, including 21 years in the NFL, Donatell has worked with several of the most highly regarded defensive backs in pro football history, including Ronnie Lott, Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler, Darren Sharper, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins.

Donatell most recently served as the secondary coach with the Denver Broncos from 2009-10. Over the course of two seasons with the Broncos, the team ranked seventh in the NFL in opponent completion percentage (58.8) and ninth in passing yards per game (223.7).

Prior to working as the defensive coordinator for the University of Washington in 2008 and a special assistant for the New York Jets in 2007, Donatell served as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-06.

In his first season with Atlanta in 2004, the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship Game and led the NFL in sacks (48) for the first time in club history. During his final year as the Falcons defensive coordinator in 2006, the club led the NFL in third-down percentage (30.2), while ranking sixth in the league in yards per carry allowed (3.8).


Donatell spent four seasons as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator (2000-03), helping the Packers lead the NFL with 116 takeaways from 2001 to 2003. Green Bay advanced to the playoffs during each of those three seasons, including the 2001 and 2002 campaigns when they won the NFC North title. In 2002, Donatell’s defense set a Green Bay record with 52 sacks and led the NFL with 45 takeaways. That year, Sharper earned his second Pro Bowl selection under Donatell after tying for the NFC lead among safeties with seven interceptions.

In Donatell’s first stint with the Broncos (1995-99) he served as the team’s secondary coach and won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 an 1999. The Broncos ranked seventh in the league in both passing yards per game (199.6) and passing yards per attempt allowed (6.5), en route to earning three playoff berths under Donatell. The Broncos also ranked in the top 10 against the pass in four of Donatell’s five seasons as defensive backs coach.

Donatell made his NFL coaching debut as the secondary coach with the New York Jets from 1990-94, where he worked with Lott in the final two seasons of his career.

Prior to making the jump to the NFL, Donatell spent 11 seasons in the collegiate ranks. He served as the defensive backs coach at Cal State Fullerton (1989), the University of Idaho (1986-88) and the University of Pacific (1983-85). He also was a graduate assistant at the University of Washington (1981-82) and Kent State (1979-80).

An all-conference defensive back, team captain and four-year letterwinner at Glenville State (WV) University, Donatell received a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1979. He went on to earn a master’s degree in administration from Kent State in 1981. A native of Stow, OH, Donatell is married to his wife Shari, and the couple has three children, Brenna, Thomas and Steven.
 

SaintsJunkie

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Eddie Donatell , yeah I thought of him, and a few others still coaching, like jim tomsula
 

whodatdb

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IDK much about the 9er position coachs but I always see Tomsula yelling at refs and stuff so I would give him a look too. Did Ed run a 3-4 with ATL in 04?
 

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I like your point, St PJ. I think he goes with the experienced DC over some young hot shot. Thanks for the heads up on Donatell.
 

ETWhoDat

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Inside information tells me this Donatell is locked for philly's d coordinator job
 

Boondock

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I really dont think Payton is looking for the "quick fix", this time. He did that with Gregg Williams and Steve Spagnuolo. I think he will be looking for a long term answer and long term defensive build. I know that he mentioned college coaches are on the table and Im leaning toward that being the choice. Why? Payton said himself that he is ignorant to the read option/pistol offense and that our defense and defending it is keeping him up at night. What better place to find a d-coordinator who is familiar with the read option and pistol than college? Thats just my educated guess.

I think Manny Diaz out of Texas would be a good candidate for the secondary coach, personally.
 

whodatdb

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Inside information tells me this Donatell is locked for philly's d coordinator job
I doubt he would pick a rookie Pro HC from college with a very unstable team and questionable offense over arguably the top offense in the league with Payton that only needs a decent defense for SB.
 

SuperRemo

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I doubt he would pick a rookie Pro HC from college with a very unstable team and questionable offense over arguably the top offense in the league with Payton that only needs a decent defense for SB.
That's exactly the attitude that Payton is trying to extinguish from the team and the fanbase. That we only need a decent defense. What kind of low expectation bullcrap is that. That's how you lose. You aim low.

Find someone who can make a long term plan to improve us probably gradually but with real gains. And btw a decent defense won't win it for us esp with how good San fRan's offense has become and how good Seattle and other teams have become. Even ATL
 
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St. PJ

St. PJ

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IDK much about the 9er position coachs but I always see Tomsula yelling at refs and stuff so I would give him a look too. Did Ed run a 3-4 with ATL in 04?
No. He hired on with the Jets to learn the 3-4, then coached the Broncos in a 3-4, then went to SF. It appears his specialty is secondary-- which is the same no matter front 7 alignment.
 

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