According to reports, the New Orleans Saints have found their defensive line coach. FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman originally reported that Ryan Nielsen, NC State’s defensive line coach and run coordinator, will join the team. A congratulatory tweet from the Wolfpack’s head coach, Dave Doeren, echoed the news.
Congrats to @CoachRNielsen as he heads to the NFL. He's done a tremendous job with our d-line & I'm so proud of him for this next step.— Dave Doeren (@StateCoachD) February 7, 2017
Nielsen has been with the Wolfpack since 2014. Under him, NC State finished with 37.0 sacks in 2016 (T-22nd in FBS), 32.0 sacks in 2015 (31st), and 30.0 sacks in 2014 (44th) out of 128 schools. Per his bio, Nielsen has been a coach since 2004 after graduating from USC in 2002. An article from Scout in Sept. 2015 focused on his love of teaching the game.
“Being a defensive line coach I think you have to coach a little more high energy,” Nielsen said of his approach. “The guys are a little bit bigger so sometimes you have got to get them going, but I always want to stay with fundamentals through the process. The little things, the details of the position. You just make it as perfect as you can in practice so you can just go out and play on game day.”
No official word has been announced by the Saints, but it should be expected soon. They’ll absolutely need help however they can get it to improve one of the worst pass-rushing units in the league.