Even though it’s relatively late on a Saturday, word has just come through social media about another name to add to the Minnesota Vikings’ search for a new defensive coordinator.
Vikings have requested to interview Saints’ co-DC Ryan Nielsen for Minnesota’s vacant defensive coordinator job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 22, 2023
Nielsen also expected to interview with the Falcons for the same role.
Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Vikings have requested permission to interview Ryan Nielsen, who is currently the co-defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. Nielsen also serves as the Saints’ defensive line coach.
The 43-year-old Nielsen spent more than a decade coaching in the college ranks and got his NFL break with the Saints in 2017, when he was hired as their defensive line coach. He received an assistant head coach title in 2021, and assumed the role of co-defensive coordinator (with Kris Richard) this past season. He was offered a job as defensive coordinator at Louisiana State University in 2021, but turned it down in order to remain with the Saints.
While I don’t know much about Nielsen, there are a couple of tidbits in his bio from the Saints’ coaching staff page that are of interest.
Since 2017, New Orleans’ 233 sacks ranked third in the league, seven different defensive linemen have produced multi-sack games and the New Orleans defense went an NFL-record 55 regular season and postseason games without allowing a 100-yard rusher between the 2017-20 campaigns and has the longest current streak at 22 consecutive contests. During his tenure in New Orleans, the Saints have ranked in the top ten in sacks four of five seasons and have finished in the top five in run defense the last four campaigns.
Outside of that, I don’t know a whole lot about Ryan Nielsen, so we’ll see if anything further develops with him as far as the Vikings are concerned.