6 realistic candidates to be the next Vikings defensive coordinator

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) Vance Joseph
(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) Vance Joseph /
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Following the decision to fire Ed Donatell as the team’s defensive coordinator, who will the Minnesota Vikings pick as his replacement?

After just one season, the Minnesota Vikings decided on Thursday to relieve Ed Donatell of his duties as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Donatell was hired less than a year ago by the Vikings, and now the team already needs someone new to run their defense. It was a necessary decision though, as Minnesota’s defense struggled to contain just about every opposing offense they faced during the 2022 season.

How will Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell approach the hiring of his second defensive coordinator in as many years? Does O’Connell want to stick to a scheme that utilizes a 3-4 base alignment, or is he open to bringing someone in who typically uses a 4-3 scheme?

Does he want a proven defensive coach who has already gotten the job done in the past, or is he willing to take a chance on a young coach who might be more open to adjusting his scheme to fit the skills of his personnel if necessary?

Don’t be surprised if O’Connell meets with more than a handful of candidates for Donatell’s old job during the next few weeks. After his first selection was a colossal failure, he’s going to want to make sure his next choice delivers much better results.

Of all the possible candidates that could end up meeting with O’Connell in the near future, who are a few that likely have the best shot at landing the job?