If all reports are true, then Mike McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins landed a whale in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio this offseason. And if those same reports are accurate, shortly after Super Bowl LVII, Fangio is set to sign one of the most lucrative deals for an assistant coach in NFL history. But with big money comes big responsibility — like trying to fill out a coaching staff with worthy assistants.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero — the first person to report the Vic Fangio to Miami signing — the first of those assistants on the Dolphins’ radar appears to be Los Angeles Chargers assistant secondary coach Tom Donatell.
Donatell, 33, began his career as a quality control coach with the Seattle Seahawks. According to the Los Angeles Chargers' official website, some of his tasks with the Seahawks included “video evaluation efforts of Seattle’s upcoming opponents for the defensive coaching staff...self-scouting endeavors on a routine basis... evaluating and contributing to the defense’s week-to-week evolving playbook.”
Donatell would spend four seasons in Seattle before becoming an assistant secondary coach in Los Angeles. The Chargers’ official site had even nicer things to say about what the young secondary coach has done during his two-year tenure with the Bolts.
In his first year with the Bolts, he helped coach safety Derwin James Jr., to return to the field at an all-star level and assisted with the transition of second-round rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.
Say. No. More!
Additionally, Tom is the son of well-respected secondary coach Ed Donatell — a name many Dolphins fans began to link to the Fins shortly after Fangio’s signing. Ed was most recently the defensive coordinator in Minnesota but was replaced by Brian Flores earlier in the offseason.
There’s still a possibility that both father and son end up in Miami. But for now, it appears Tom Donatell is the coach Vic Fangio is most interested in bringing in to replace safeties coach Steve Gregory and secondary assistant Patrick Surtain.
To learn more about Vic Fangio’s defense and what Donatell’s secondary might look like, check out this fantastic article by Shawn_SyedSchemes over at the Daily Norseman.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Miami Dolphins’ secondary? Would you like to bring in Tom Donatell to coach Miami’s secondary? How badly will the Dolphins miss Steve Gregory and Patrick Surtain? Do you think Xavien Howard is c00k3d? Let us know in the comments section below!