REPORT: Ryan Nielsen to stay with Saints, was target for LSU DC

LSU Football
New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during an NFL football game against the...
New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in New Orleans.(Tyler Kaufman | AP)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 12:41 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU was reportedly close to naming Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen as its next defensive coordinator on Monday, Jan. 18, but it didn’t happen and the Tigers are still searching for Bo Pelini’s replacement.

On Tuesday, it was reported by Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman that Nielsen is remaining with the Saints as defensive line coach.

ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Triplett reported that Nielsen will receive a 3-year contract and the added title of assistant head coach with the Saints. Dan Campbell, who was the assistant head coach last season, will be heading to the Detroit Lions as head coach.

Jane Slater with NFL Network first reported Monday that the Tigers and Nielsen were close to a deal. However, she later reported sources were telling her that the wording of Nielsen’s contract could block the move.

Nielsen has been the defensive line coach for the Saints for four seasons. According to his bio, he has a history of developing players on the professional and college levels and brings abundant experience to the position.

He has strong ties to LSU head coach Ed Orgeron. He played defensive tackle at USC under Orgeron from 1998-2001 and his first coaching job was as a volunteer assistant for Coach O at USC in 2002. Nielsen was the defensive line coach at Ole Miss from 2005-2007 when Orgeron was head coach.


The Tigers will continue searching for a replacement for Pelini, who left after just one season in his second stint as defensive coordinator with the team. They interviewed former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who chose Notre Dame over LSU.

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