Green Bay's Sherman fires two assistant coaches

In shake-up, defensive coordinator, tight ends coach sent packing.


Published: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 12:27 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Packers fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and tight ends coach Jeff Jagodzinski on Friday.

"It's a very difficult decision, but it's one that I felt I had to make at this time," coach and general manager Mike Sherman said.

"I do feel I have to make decisions that are I feel in the best interests of the football team at this time."

The 46-year-old Donatell, a 14-year NFL coaching veteran, served as defensive coordinator since 2000, named to the staff by Sherman as Green Bay's incoming coach.

Donatell coached defensive backs for the New York Jets from 1990-94 and the Denver Broncos from 1995-99 before joining the Packers.

"I didn't see it coming," Donatell said. "As far as coaching, I had a great time, a blast."

The 40-year-old Jagodzinski was a college coach for 14 years before being named to Ray Rhodes' staff in 1999. He was retained as tight ends coach when Sherman succeeded Rhodes. He joined Green Bay after serving as offensive coordinator at Boston College in 1997-98.

The Packers lost 20-17 in overtime in the second round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

The Eagles converted on fourth-and-26 late in the fourth quarter, with Donovan McNabb passing to Freddie Mitchell to set up a game-tying field goal.

That play came after Donatell decided to play a four-across zone after three straight blitzes had backed up the Eagles to their 26 with 1:26 remaining in regulation.

But Sherman said that call was not the reason for the changes, which stemmed from a season-long evaluation.

Donatell said "as a football coach, I should win that situation every, single time. I learned something from it.

He added: "I will adjust to this and maybe good things will happen. I think there is going to be an opportunity to coach some more guys. I am up for the next shot."

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