Ryan Nielsen

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Jaguars Hire Ryan Nielsen As DC

The Jaguars have found their Mike Caldwell replacement. Jacksonville is set to hire Ryan Nielsen as defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The move is now official.

This will mark the first trip outside the NFC South since 2016 for Nielsen. He had been with the Saints from 2017-22, and in his final year with the team he served as co-defensive coordinator. That tenure was followed by an intra-divisional move to Atlanta. Nielsen guided the Falcons’ defense in 2023, but with a new head coach on the way, his future remained uncertain until now.

The Falcons initially blocked Jacksonville’s efforts to speak with Nielsen. However, Atlanta ultimately changed course and permitted an interview to take place. As was the case in his previous gig, Nielsen will have play-calling duties with the Jaguars, making this a lateral move. Given the issues Jacksonville experienced on defense this season, and the widespread staff changes which came about as a result, Nielsen will have plenty of work to do in Duval County.

Caldwell was one of many defensive coaches let go by Doug Pederson after the campaign, one in which Jacksonville appeared to be on track to win the AFC South. A late-season collapse left the team out of the playoffs and in need of a fourth DC in the past five seasons, however. Questions have been raised about the offensive personnel who are still in place, but for now attention will turn to Nielsen and his ability to provide stability over an extended period.

The 44-year-old has only two seasons of coordinator experience at the NFL level, but he has shown promise both in New Orleans and Atlanta. Nielsen helped oversee a defensive turnaround with the Falcons in 2023, and the team ranked 11th in yards allowed. They excelled in the passing game in particular, ranking eighth in yards surrendered through the air. That marks a stark contrast to Jacksonville’s performance.

The Jags finished in the top 10 against the run in 2023, but they ranked only 26th against the pass. Nielsen will aim to achieve better balance in 2024 and beyond and, in turn, help Jacksonville return to the postseason. Atlanta’s staff will remain worth monitoring, meanwhile, with signs continuing to point them to an agreement with Bill Belichick. His arrival would no doubt be followed by a number of personnel changes.

Here is a final look at the Jaguars’ DC search:

  • Shane Bowen, defensive coordinator (Titans): To interview
  • Ejiro Evero, defensive coordinator (Panthers): Interview blocked
  • Chris Harris, cornerbacks coach (Titans): To interview
  • Chris Hewitt, secondary coach (Ravens): To interview 1/21
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): To interview
  • Don Martindale, former defensive coordinator (Giants): To interview
  • Ryan Nielsen, defensive coordinator (Falcons): Hired

Falcons Permit Jaguars To Interview DC Ryan Nielsen

The Falcons are changing course with Ryan Nielsen. After initially blocking Jacksonville from interviewing its defensive coordinator, Atlanta is giving the go-ahead.

Nielsen will interview for the Jaguars’ DC position, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. While the Falcons joined the Panthers in initially blocking the Jaguars from meeting with their first-year DC, ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein notes the team has now granted permission for the lateral move.

The Falcons had blocked multiple staffers from interviewing elsewhere, including Marquice Williams, whom the Giants sought for a special teams coordinator meeting. Perhaps progressing on the hiring front, Atlanta may be greenlighting those moves now. Teams can block coordinators from interviewing for other coordinator jobs, so long as the position does not involve a non-play-calling OC or DC moving to a play-calling role. The Jags fired two-year DC Mike Caldwell shortly after their season ended. Jacksonville’s next DC will be its fourth in five seasons.

This would be a major change for the Falcons, who improved defensively with Nielsen. But the team is also in transition, having fired Arthur Smith. With Bill Belichick squarely on Atlanta’s radar, a defensive shakeup is also naturally in play. Regardless of which HC the Falcons hire, he will likely want to either call defensive plays himself or bring in his own boss on that side of the ball. With job openings available now, the Falcons will let Nielsen explore them.

While Smith could not provide a significant boost on offense, as quarterback issues plagued the team following the 2022 Matt Ryan trade, Nielsen did make an impact in his first year on the job. The Falcons improved from 25th to eighth in pass defense, with Feldman adding they climbed from 26th to seventh from 2022-23 in yards per play. The team vaulted from 27th to 11th in total defense in that span and finished 18th in scoring defense this season. That said, Atlanta dropped from ninth to 18th in total defense in a one-game span, allowing 48 points in an embarrassing Week 18 loss to New Orleans.

Nielsen has a history with Falcons GM Terry Fontenot, with both having worked with the Saints prior to their moves to Georgia. Fontenot remains in place, though a Belichick or Jim Harbaugh hire would either threaten his job security or put him at risk of seeing power stripped. Nielsen spent six seasons as the Saints’ defensive line coach, moving to a co-DC role in 2022.

Here is how the Jaguars’ DC search looks:

Jaguars Exploring Options For Open DC Job, Scheduling Interviews

After firing defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and the rest of the defensive staff, head coach Doug Pederson and the Jaguars have started the process of finding replacements. That became clear with a series of reports today that several defensive assistants from around the league would be interviewing for the open position.

In a continuation of what looks like a future decimation of the Ravens‘ coaching staff this offseason, secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator Chris Hewitt will interview for the job, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Baltimore’s coordinators have both been garnering interest for multiple head coaching openings, and earlier today, we saw the team’s defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson interview with the Giants for their open defensive coordinator job. Even Ravens defensive line coach/associate head coach Anthony Weaver has received head coaching interest.

Hewitt has been a staple in Baltimore, coaching with the Ravens since the team’s last Super Bowl season in 2012. The Jamaica-native started off coaching as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the college level for the Fighting Irish before spending eight seasons at Rutgers coaching running backs and cornerbacks. In 2012, Hewitt joined John Harbaugh‘s staff as a defensive backs coach. After another eight years, Hewitt was promoted to pass defense coordinator and has spent the past two seasons in his current role.

Jacksonville isn’t afraid to poach from a division-rival, scheduling an interview with Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport. While Bowen technically is still employed in Nashville, the firing of Mike Vrabel leaves Bowen in a precarious position, as whoever eventually replaces Vrabel may not choose to retain him in Tennessee. After five years as an assistant with the Texans and Titans, Bowen got his first coordinator job in 2021. In his first season, Bowen impressed, with Tennessee finished as the sixth-best scoring defense and finishing 12th in yards allowed. The next two seasons saw mostly middling defenses in Tennessee.

Also off the Titans’ coaching staff, the Jaguars will interview Tennessee’s defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach Chris Harris, according to Ben Arthur of NFL on FOX. Since entering the NFL in 2013 as a Bears defensive quality control coach, Harris went from assistant defensive backs coach for the Chargers to defensive backs coach for Washington before landing in his current role with the Titans this year. Harris also got some interest in last year’s coordinator search for the Texans.

Finally, the last candidate to receive a request to interview for the Jaguars open position was Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel. Manuel started coaching in Seattle in 2012, a few years after concluding his playing career, as an assistant special teams coach. He would climb the ladder for the Seahawks becoming a defensive assistant and an assistant secondary coach over the next two years. He took his first position coaching gig as the secondary coach for the Falcons in 2015 and was promoted to defensive coordinator two years later. When his contract in Atlanta expired, Manuel was hired as the defensive backs coach in Philadelphia for a year before taking the safeties coach position in New York. Like Harris, Manuel was a candidate for the Texans defensive coordinator job last offseason. He also interviewed for the same job with the Panthers last year, as well.

The Jaguars are certainly exploring plenty of options for who will coach the defensive side of the ball in Jacksonville next year. The team reportedly also requested an interview with Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen but were blocked access, per Jaguars beat reporter John Shipley. The Panthers also blocked an Ejiro Evero interview. There seems to be a concentrated focus on coaches with defensive back experience, which makes sense after the team gave up the seventh-most passing yards in the NFL this year.

Falcons Request HC Interview With Mike Macdonald

We can add another team to the list of suitors for Mike Macdonald. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Falcons have requested permission to interview the Ravens defensive coordinator for their head coaching vacancy.

[RELATED: 2024 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

After not generating any head coaching interest last offseason, Macdonald has turned into one of the most popular names this time around. As our Head Coaching Search Tracker shows, the Falcons join the Titans, Commanders, Panthers, and Chargers as the teams that are currently pursuing Macdonald.

The second-year Ravens DC helped guide one the NFL’s top defenses this season, with Baltimore finishing the season as the top-scoring defense. Macdonald also got praise for his handling on the edge. Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy both caught on late with the Ravens, but the veteran duo still managed to finish the year with 18.5 sacks.

Macdonald joins a growing list of candidates for the open gig in Atlanta:

Despite the lack of a head coach, the Falcons are holding on to one of their coordinators. According to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, the Falcons blocked defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from interviewing for the Jaguars defensive coordinator gig. After spending the 2022 campaign as the Saints DC, Nielsen took on the same role in Atlanta for the 2023 campaign. The Falcons defense ended up having a bounce-back season, finishing 11th in the NFL in yards allowed.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Falcons Hire Ryan Nielsen As DC

Ryan Nielsen will jump within the NFC South, moving from New Orleans to Atlanta. The Falcons announced Friday they have hired the Saints’ co-defensive coordinator to be their DC.

Working alongside Kris Richard in the Saints’ co-DC setup on Dennis Allen‘s staff this season, Nielsen has been with New Orleans for the past six years. This move will reunite Nielsen with Falcons GM Terry Fontenot, who came over from the Saints in 2021.

This Atlanta search featured some moving parts. Needing to replace the re-retired Dean Pees, the Falcons interviewed some high-profile names. They reached out to two coaches who have already gone through head coaching interviews — Brian Flores and Ejiro Evero — and interviewed ex-Denver HC Vic Fangio. Flores has been closely tied to the Cardinals’ HC job, while Evero has interviewed twice with the Colts and Texans. The Broncos, however, quickly blocked an Evero-Falcons meeting. Because Evero holds play-calling responsibilities in Denver and is under contract, a block maneuver could ensue. Fangio has also interviewed with three teams and looms as an option to return to the 49ers if/once DeMeco Ryans lands a top job elsewhere.

Nielsen, 43, had also interviewed with the Vikings about their DC job. No block could commence with Nielsen, due to he and Richard’s atypical arrangement. This will be Nielsen’s first crack as a play-caller, as Allen continued to run the show on that side of the ball despite succeeding Sean Payton as head coach.

Nielsen spent his time in New Orleans coaching defensive linemen. He worked as the Saints’ D-line coach — or as DC with D-line responsibilities — throughout that Louisiana run. During that stretch, Cameron Jordan (one Pro Bowl in his first six seasons) emerged on the Hall of Fame radar. Breaking the Saints’ career sack record, Jordan has made five Pro Bowls over the past six years. New Orleans also received quality work from defensive tackle David Onyemata under Nielsen.

Atlanta ranked outside the top 20 in points and yards allowed in each of Pees’ two seasons, but the team made no secret of its rebuild path. Nielsen will be tasked with elevating the young talent on the Falcons’ defense — including the likes of Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone and Troy Andersen. The Falcons’ 21 sacks ranked as the NFL’s second-worst total; only Grady Jarrett totaled more than four.

The Falcons shifted to a 3-4 scheme under Pees, so it will be interesting to see if Nielsen brings the Saints’ 4-3 alignment to Atlanta. Allen oversaw New Orleans’ defense throughout Nielsen’s tenure, making it premature to determine if the latter would make that change. But the Falcons are changing up their staff on defense.

As should be expected, Nielsen will be bringing in much of his own position coaches to Atlanta. The Falcons fired outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino, D-line coach Gary Emanuel and secondary coach Jon Hoke, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter (on Twitter). A former Colts DC, Monachino joined the Falcons upon Pees being hired. Ditto Emanuel, who worked under Monachino in Indianapolis and who has been in coaching since the early 1980s, and Hoke.

Vikings, Dolphins Request DC Interviews With Sean Desai

The Vikings and Dolphins are in need of a new defensive coordinator, and both clubs have requested interviews with Seahawks defensive assistant and associate head coach Sean Desai (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Desai was also a candidate for the Browns’ DC post that was recently filled by Jim Schwartz.

Minnesota enjoyed a 13-4 record in 2022, Kevin O’Connell‘s first year as head coach. However, the team’s defense was a sore spot all season, and after a wildcard-round loss to the Giants in which the Vikes struggled to slow New York quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell received his walking papers. Minnesota subsequently requested an interview with Steelers senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores and also hopes to talk to Desai. In addition, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that the Vikings have requested an interview with Saints co-DC Ryan Nielsen, who is expected to interview with the Falcons for the same position.

Like the Vikings, the Dolphins were bounced in last week’s wildcard round, giving up over 400 total yards in their loss to the Bills. The team’s defense finished the regular season in the middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed, but the unit dropped from 16th in points allowed in 2021 to 24th in 2022 while falling from 10th to 15th in DVOA. That drop-off cost defensive coordinator Josh Boyer his job, and in addition to Desai, the ‘Fins hope to talk with Vic Fangio about their DC vacancy.

Desai, 39, may not have Fangio’s track record, but he did work under the renowned defensive guru for a few years while both men were on the Bears’ staff, and he was named Chicago’s defensive coordinator in 2021. He found himself in need of new employment at the end of that campaign, as the Bears elected to part ways with head coach Matt Nagy & Co. In 2022, Desai ended up in Seattle under fellow ex-Fangio staffer Clint Hurtt.

Although the Bears were anxious to clean house after a disappointing end to the Nagy era, Desai’s defense did finish sixth in the league in yards allowed per game (316.7) in 2021, despite injuries to a number of key players. The Vikings — along with the Giants and Raiders — actually interviewed him for their DC post in last year’s cycle before opting to move forward with Donatell, and they are now giving him another look.

Falcons Request DC Interviews With Jerry Gray, Ryan Nielsen

The Falcons have reportedly hit a roadblock with their first target to take on their vacant defensive coordinator position. Two new names have quickly emerged as candidates the team is interested in meeting with, however.

Atlanta has put in an interview request with Packers defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Jerry Gray, per Benjamin Albright of KOA Colorado (Twitter link). A sit-down is expected to take place next week, Albright adds. That news comes as little surprise, given the fact that Gray was quickly named as a candidate to replace Falcons DC Dean Pees following his retirement announcement.

Gray, 60, has NFL coaching experience dating back to 1997. His time on the sidelines at the pro level began in Tennessee, and includes a stint as the Bills’ DC from 2001-05. Gray ultimately found himself back with the Titans in 2011, when he took charge of their defense. His unit put up generally sub-par numbers during his time in Nashville, aside from his first year in charge where the team’s defense ranked eighth in scoring.

In addition, the Falcons have their eyes on the Saints’ Ryan Nielsen, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. The 43-year-old has exclusively worked with New Orleans during his time as an NFL staffer, beginning with the team in 2017. He spent five years working strictly with the defensive line, before being promoted to the role of co-DC this past offseason.

That move was necessitated by Dennis Allen being promoted to New Orleans’ head coach, of course, and increased Nielson’s importance (along with that of Kris Richard) to the Saints’ defense. The unit delivered a strong performance in 2022, ranking fifth in the league in yards allowed and ninth in scoring. That wasn’t enough to guide the Saints to a postseason berth given their offensive struggles, but it likely boosted Nielson’s stock as a high-end coordinator candidate.

Either option would bring significant experience to the rebuilding Falcons’ defense, so they could be serious candidates for the job. Atlanta is expected to cast a wide net in their search for Pees’ successor, however, so their list of interviewees is likely to grow in the coming days.

Latest On Saints’ Coaching Staff

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.

[RELATED: Saints To Keep Pete Carmichael As OC]

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.