Bears hire DB coach Townsend to replace Donatell
Thirteen-year NFL veteran cornerback Deshea Townsend is replacing departed Ed Donatell as the Bears' defensive backs coach.
Townsend inherits from Donatell a talented group that includes cornerback Kyle Fuller and safety Eddie Jackson, both of whom were voted to their first Pro Bowls this season and were also chosen all-pro. Donatell was hired as the Broncos' defensive coordinator by their new head coach Vic Fangio, who was the Bears' defensive coordinator the previous four years. During that time, Donatell was the Bears' DB coach.
The Bears also announced the hiring of defensive quality control coach Ronell Williams to the staff of new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who was hired Jan. 11.
Townsend has five seasons' experience as an NFL assistant since retiring as a player in 2009.
He spent the 2018 season as an assistant DB coach for the Giants, and he worked with the Titans secondary in 2016-17. Prior to that he coached the cornerbacks at Mississippi State from 2013-15. He began his coaching career with the Cardinals as their assistant DB coach from 2011-12.
As a player, Townsend appeared in 191 games with 80 starts for the Steelers (1998-2009) and Colts (2010) after being drafted in the fourth round out of Alabama. He totaled 21 career interceptions, 428 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 3 touchdowns, 5 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Townsend was a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Steelers when they defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl 40 and the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. He played six seasons (2004-09) under Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, who was a defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh during their time together.
Williams was a member of the Bears' coaching staff during last year's training camp as part of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. He most recently completed his second year as a defensive analyst at Temple in 2018.
• Bob LeGere is a senior writer at Pro Football Weekly. Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter at @BobLeGere or @PFWeekly.