Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell sat alongside the team’s general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to address reporters in Wednesday’s season-ending press conference.

The two fielded a variety of different question, but perhaps the most pertinent topic of discussion is the future of defensive coordinator Ed Donatel.

Donatel’s defense struggled mightily in 2022, ranking 31st in total defense and 30th in scoring defense. Many Vikings fans are clamoring for the team to part ways with Donatel, especially after the defense let the team down once again in its wild card loss to the New York Giants.

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When asked about Donatel’s future on the coaching staff, O’Connell tiptoed around the question, but revealed that the evaluation process is ongoing.

“I’m in an evaluation mode of everything that we did, I think that’s really important,” O’Connell said. “Part of self-reflecting, and part of us reflecting as a staff, is making sure we’re taking a look at every aspect of our football team and our coaching staff to make sure that we’re doing everything within my responsibility and my power to put our players and our organization in the best possible situation to have success.”

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Though there have been no changes announced yet, O’Connell is making sure he does a thorough evaluation of each element of his football team.

“So, that is an ongoing process that is continuing as we speak. We’ll continue throughout the rest of this week. I think it’s important to do. I think after the success we had this year, and then coming up short of where we wanted to get to, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

It’s wise to let the sting of last week’s loss begin to soften before making any knee-jerk coaching decisions. That being said, Donatel’s defense was a liability throughout the year and it wouldn’t shock many to see O’Connell make a change.

Featured image via Matt Krohn – USA TODAY Sports

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