Minnesota Vikings fire defensive coordinator Ed Donatell

The Minnesota Vikings have fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after his first season with the team, Coach Kevin O'Connell announced Thursday evening.

In the statement, O'Connell says he informed Donatell the team will be moving in "a different direction at defensive coordinator" next season.

"While this was a difficult decision because of the tremendous respect I have for Ed as a person and a coach, I believe it is the right move for the future of our football team," writes O'Connell.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on during game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Le

"I want to thank Ed for his commitment to the Vikings this past season, for the positive impact he had on our players and coaches, and for his role in helping me as a first-year head coach lay this foundation. We all wish Ed and his wife, Shari, only the best in the future."

O'Connell says the team is moving forward with the search for Donatell's replacement.

The Vikings defense struggled this season, allowing the second-most passing yards, the third-most points allowed, and the third-most first downs.