WEDNESDAY: Both will indeed become co-DCs for the Saints. Nielsen agreed to a two-year contract as New Orleans’ co-DC, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman tweets, while NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes Richard is ticketed to stay on as Saints secondary coach with the co-DC title added (Twitter link). Nielsen will remain the Saints’ D-line coach, and Pelissero adds special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi is now an assistant head coach with the team.
The Saints also announced quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry is now the team’s passing-game coordinator. Curry has been with the Saints for seven years. Doug Marrone is on track to be the Saints’ offensive line coach, a role he held from 2006-08, when he was also New Orleans’ OC.
MONDAY: Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard are getting promotions in New Orleans. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter), the pair of Saints defensive assistants are taking on new roles. The duo could be promoted to co-defensive coordinators, although the reporter cautions that nothing has been set.
Richard made a name for himself with the Seahawks, working his way up from an assistant to defensive coordinator. The coach ended up spending three years in that role before getting canned following the 2017 campaign. Since that time, the 42-year-old has worked as the Cowboys defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, and he joined the Saints as their defensive backs coach in 2021. Richard met with both the Ravens and Steelers about their DC vacancies last month
Nielsen has been with the Saints organization since 2017, and he earned a promotion to assistant head coach in 2021. Prior to his stint in New Orleans, the coach was in the collegiate ranks, including a stint as defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois. We heard recently that Nielsen was a candidate for the DC gig.
The Saints have met with multiple outside candidates, including Michael Wilhoite and Aubrey Pleasant. Meanwhile, Pete Carmichael will be sticking around as offensive coordinator on Dennis Allen’s staff.