Saints Promote Kris Richard & Ryan Nielsen To Co-Defensive Coordinators

According to Adam Rittenberg, the Saints have promoted DB coach Kris Richard and DL coach Ryan Nielsen to co-defensive coordinators. 

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This has been the expected move as New Orleans tries to keep both men on staff. New Saints HC Dennis Allen was previously the defensive coordinator and presumably will keep having input there. 

Both Richard and Nielsen had interviewed for other DC jobs elsewhere. 

Richard, 42, began his coaching career with the Seahawks back in 2008 as a graduate assistant. He worked his way up to defensive in 2015 and spent the three seasons in charge of the Seahawks’ defense before parting ways in 2017. 

The Cowboys later hired Richard as their defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator. Richard’s contract with the Cowboys expired in 2019 and he later joined the Saints as their defensive backs coach.

Nielsen, 42, got his start in coaching at USC in 2002. He later was hired by Ole Miss as their DL coach in 2005 and spent the next decade-plus at various stops in college football as either a defensive coordinator or DL coach. 

The Saints hired him away from N.C. State in 2017 to be their DL coach. He added assistant head coach to his title in 2021. 

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