Kevin O’Connell isn’t considering change in defensive play caller

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings
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The Vikings gave up 464 yards to the Lions in last Sunday’s 34-23 loss to the Lions and that was actually a slight improvement over the previous week.

The Jets had 486 yards in Week 13 and the Vikings have allowed more than 400 yards to each of their last five opponents. The team now ranks last in the league in yards allowed and they’ve been outscored 313-312 on the season despite having a 10-3 record.

A run like that leads to questions for the head coach about possible changes on defense and Kevin O’Connell fielded them on Monday. Specifically, O’Connell was asked if he’s considered taking defensive play calling duties away from defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

“You know you’re always looking at things that you think might be — what could be a possible answer to help the guys play better and be more consistent, but as of right now, no, that’s not something I’m considering,” O’Connell said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

O’Connell noted that the team can’t “completely change the scheme outright” at this point in the season and there’s not much to do on the personnel front, so there are limits on how much can change in the final weeks. Finding a way to shore up some of the problems will be essential to Minnesota doing more than just making the playoffs, however.

22 responses to “Kevin O’Connell isn’t considering change in defensive play caller

  1. Nobody is saying you can change your the scheme at this point. Everyone is saying change your play calls. Dead last. I guess it won’t mean anything to him until an embarrassing playoff loss?

  2. The team will finish with 12+ wins, with almost zero contribution from their 3 top defensive drafts picks and a borderline moronic DC. That alone is a testament to the offense and KOC’s culture changes. Gotta move on from Donatell in the off-season though.

  3. Unfortunately Viking fans (which I am one of), we are stuck with Donatell and this system for the rest of this year, however, it sounds to me like he is gone as soon as our season ends, which with this d might be the first playoff game.

  4. Boy they missed out on Harbaugh… a guy who only led his team to an undefeated season and title.

  5. Contenders to represent the NFC in the SB trying to figure out how to handle a DC crisis? LOL.

  6. As a first year HC I completely understand KOC desire to have a seasoned coach run the defense. Unfortunately Donatell is to passive and the defense is terrible. He needs to change his terrible play calling, because this will be his last coordinator job EVER. Vikings do not receive any credibility as a legit team 1000% because of the defensive shortcomings.

  7. As an old head, I believe defense wins championships. The Vikings have proven they can go toe to toe offensively with most in the league. Vikes have played 5 of the top 10 defenses this year and have a 3-2 record. So offensively they are fine – right now they are just as good as the Lions but not in the category of the Eagles or Cowboys. I would say 9ers but I think last week Purdy was a little bit of luck. Vikings fans chill out and enjoy the ride its been a while – I would expect nothing less than a Super Bowl appearance within the 2-3 years with KOC at the helm.

  8. Can’t wait until the season’s over because then Donatell will be FIRED! Good riddance.

  9. I remember PJ firing the Gopher D coordinator mid-season a few years back after being gauged back to back wks. by inferior teams. It made immediate results in the yardage allowed, scoring allowed, etc for the remainder of the season. They didn’t change the scheme or the personnel, just played to their strengths and with a much more aggressive style. Dictate the game from the D side of the ball. If you won’t fire him, allow someone else to take the reins on gameday, what do they really have to lose at this point? You can’t become the 33rd worst Defense right?

  10. Wait. You mean this stuff isn’t as easy as you guys have been yapping about for the past 30 years?

    Gosh, who knew?

    I mean, other than sane people everywhere.

  11. Vikings fans had reason to be leery of Donatell after watching him be the Packers achilles heel too. Even before the current state of affairs didn’t like this hire.

  12. The Vikings have proven they can go toe to toe offensively with most in the league.
    19th in the league in the yards per play.

  13. The Packers and the Vikings both have bad DC’s. Between the two somebody should’ve known better.

  14. Vikings should’ve remembered Donatell when he was the DC in Green Bay and ran the same defense.

  15. The Vikings have give up more than 400 yards on defense in five straight games, which is a franchise record. I couldn’t believe that when I heard it. This team has a long history of great defenses but also a long history of terrible defenses. This is literally one of the worst defenses (in terms of giving up yardage) this team has ever had. Thank goodness they are opportunistic with turnovers and don’t take a lot of penalties or this team would be under .500.

    By the way, the defense was terrible the last two years as well, so it may not just be the scheme.

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