In his sixth season in charge of the team's defensive line, Ryan Nielsen also served as an assistant head coach in 2021 and in 2022 will add co-defensive coordinator duties.
Nielsen has a history of developing players on the professional and college levels and brings abundant experience to the New Orleans defense.
Since 2017, New Orleans' 233 sacks ranked third in the league, seven 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 10 in sacks four of five seasons and have finished in the top five in run defense the last four campaigns.
With the NFL's fourth ranked rush defense (93.5 yards per game) and the eighth-most sacks (46), Nielsen worked with his position group to help produce standout campaigns from longtime veterans as well as overseeing development from the team's promising young defenders. Nielsen helped defensive end Cameron Jordan earn Pro Bowl honors, as he finished the season tied for seventh in the NFL with 12.5 sacks. In the five seasons that Nielsen has served as Jordan's position coach, his 60.5 sacks are tied for third in the league over that period, with four double-digit campaigns and being selected to the Pro Bowl each season. Along with defensive end Marcus Davenport, who posted a career-high nine quarterback takedowns, the Saints were just one of seven teams to have a pair of teammates record at least nine sacks.
Ryan Nielsen coaching career
|USC (College)||Volunteer assistant||2002|
|Idaho (College)||Administrative assistant||2004|
|Ole Miss (College)||Defensive line coach||2005-07|
|Central Connecticut State (College)||Defensive coordinator/defensive line/linebackers coach||2008-09|
|UT Martin (College)||Defensive line coach/special teams coach||2010|
|Northern Illinois (College)||Defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator||2011|
|Northern Illinois (College)||Co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator||2012|
|N.C. State (College)||Defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator||2013|
|N.C. State (College)||Defensive line coach/run game coordinator||2014-16|
|New Orleans Saints (NFL)||Defensive line coach||2017-20|
|New Orleans Saints (NFL)||Assistant head coach/defensive line coach||2021|
|New Orleans Saints (NFL)||Co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach||2022-present|