Denver Broncos: Ed Donatell vows to “stress the takeaways”

DENVER - 2009: Ed Donatell of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by NFL Photos)
DENVER - 2009: Ed Donatell of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by NFL Photos) /

Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell wants the defense to focus on taking the football away from the opponents’ offense.

The Denver Broncos introduced their coordinators, Rich Scangarello and Ed Donatell, at a press conference on Thursday.

The team had hired a new offensive coordinator as well as a new defensive coordinator while retaining special teams coach Tom McMahon.

This is Ed Donatell’s third stint with the team. His first two times being in Denver — 1995-1999 and 2009-2010, he was the secondary coach.

Now he is in charge of the entire defense: secondary, linebackers, defensive linemen, everything.

The Broncos recorded 28 takeaways in 2018, which was good for fifth in the league. Donatell wants to do better than that. Forcing turnovers will require the defense to do some different things, and hopefully confusing opposing quarterbacks.

"“The first thing is that we always want to do is affect the quarterback and that doesn’t mean blitzing, it means a combination of rush and coverage. That’s what we’ve been able to do together and it’s a great task to keep that going.”Ed Donatell (quotes via Broncos PR)"

The Broncos have plenty of playmakers on defense that have the ability to create pressure. They also have some ballhawks (Chris Harris Jr, Justin Simmons, etc.) that Donatell will be able to work with.

12 different defenders intercepted at least one pass during the 2018 season. Only three of them (Justin Simmons, 3; Chris Harris Jr, 3; and Darian Stewart, 2) had more than one pick.

"“We will stress the takeaways, that we will be successful in that area. It’s an area we’ll have a major commitment to. We want to make that happen some more here.”Donatell"

The defense is the strength of this team. With new coaches all across the board, the Denver Broncos look to have a new identity.

I don’t think I could be more excited about the new regime. There are going to be changes to the on-field personnel as well, but the majority of the great pieces should remain intact.

With a head coach who was the defensive coordinator of the NFL’s best defense in 2018, I fully expect the defensive side of the ball to get back on track in 2019. They were often out of position last year with a poor coaching staff.

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The time is now. There is still a lot of work to be done (2019 NFL Draft, training camp, etc), but it all comes down to working hard and producing.

I reckon 2019 is going to be a fun year for the Denver Broncos defense.