Nov 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Saints keep D-line coach Ryan Nielsen from leaving for LSU

After New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen was offered the defensive coordinator position at LSU, the NFL team responded by elevating his position and giving him with a new three-year contract, according to multiple reports.

Nielsen, who recently completed his fourth season on Sean Payton’s staff, is being promoted to assistant head coach, rather than jumping back to the college ranks at LSU. Just a day earlier, Nielson had been reported as finalizing the deal with LSU coach Ed Orgeron, whom he had previously played and worked for at Ole Miss.

The Saints have been highly successful with Nielsen coaching the defensive line. The team has won four successive NFC South titles and, according to ESPN, during his tenure the Saints have ranked No. 1 in the NFL in run defense (94.3 yards allowed per game) and third in sacks (187).

The Saints’ role of assistant head coach has opened with Dan Campbell reportedly set to become head coach of the Detroit Lions.

The LSU coordinator position is becoming problematic for Orgeron, who just a year ago captured the national championship. His defensive coordinator of four seasons, Dave Aranda, was hired after the 2019 season as Baylor’s head coach, and Orgeron brought in former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini.

But after a 5-5 season with a defense that gave up 34.9 points a game, Orgeron fired Pelini last month. He pursued Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who instead took the coordinator job at Notre Dame, leading to Nielsen becoming the top candidate.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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