New Chargers defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill had himself an excellent introductory press conference on Wednesday morning. He discussed his and Brandon Staley’s defensive philosophies and shared a number of memories between the two coaches during their time together in Denver underneath Vic Fangio.
But one question posed to Hill had the first time coordinator sharing some news that may or may not have been “official” as of yet. When asked about how him and Staley plans regarding building this new defense in Los Angeles, Hill mentioned a handful of other coaches who will all have varying levels of input in the scheme, including a pair of names that have yet to be tied to the Chargers whatsoever.
First, and I mentioned this in the daily links post for today, but Hill noted that defensive line coach Giff Smith will be involved, which means the team seems to be retaining him under the new staff. This is excellent news for that position group as continuity is always welcome. Smith has been with the team since the 2016 season, the franchise’s last in San Diego.
The other two coaches were Tommy Donatell, a former University of Iowa linebacker and defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks, and Derrick Ansley, the former defensive coordinator for the University of Tennessee.
Donatell is the son of current Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, so there’s that Vic Fangio connection. He also spent time as a graduate assistant with South Florida and UCLA prior to his time in Seattle.
Ansley played his college college ball at Troy University where he started 40 games and recorded 19 interceptions. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant with Alabama during the 2010 and ‘11 seasons and had a second stint in Tuscaloosa as their defensive backs coach in 2016 and ‘17. He spent one year coaching defensive backs for the Raiders in 2018 before his time at Tennessee.
Again, none of these moves have been made official by the team, but you can’t overlook Hill naming these coaches as if it’s already expected that they’ll be a part of the staff in 2021.