Falcons hire Ryan Nielsen as defensive coordinator

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
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The Falcons have their new defensive coordinator.

Ryan Nielsen, who has spent the last six seasons coaching the defensive line in New Orleans, is the new defensive coordinator in Atlanta, the Falcons announced today.

Other candidates the Falcons were known to be considering included former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, Steelers senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores, Panthers interim defensive coordinator Al Holcomb and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. The Falcons have been looking for a new defensive coordinator since Dean Pees retired at the end of the season.

The 43-year-old Nielsen worked at North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, UT-Martin, Central Connecticut State, Ole Miss and USC before he was hired by the Saints.

5 responses to “Falcons hire Ryan Nielsen as defensive coordinator

  1. Hate to see him leave the Saints – and especially to go to the Dirty Birds. Payton, and Dennis Allen had each promoted Nielsen to get him to turn down previous offers. That said, it’s a good sign when a rival wants to hire your team’s assistants. He’ll do well with Atlanta

  2. Note Arthur Smith did not hire a former head coach. He probably didn’t want a possible interim replacement around.

  3. The Defense is just part of the problem. Not putting points on the board is the biggest problem and that fall on the Head coach and Offense.

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