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Ryan Nielson “really down” and “disappointed” about the defensive line play

Saints co-defensive coordinator “struggling like heck”

METAIRIE, LA - New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen (left) instructs defensive lineman Marcus Davenport (92) before going through a drill during rookie minicamp practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Michael C. Hebert/

Sports Talk on WWL with Bobby Herbert, Kristian Garic and Mike Detillier had the chance to speak with one of the greatest defensive line coaches in football history, Pete Jenkins. Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielson has a very close relationship with Coach Jenkins, and they communicate often, Coach Nielson considers Pete Jenkins to be his mentor.

Jenkins said in his texts from Ryan Nielson that he has been “so up and down”. He also added that Nielson texts him the day after the games and says he is “disappointed in our technique, disappointed how we played.” He also added the lack of effort and playing slow.

Jenkins said, after one game he could tell Coach Nielson was “like really down” and in a text, Nielson said it was the “poorest played defensive line game since my rookie year with the Saints.” He adds that the inconsistency of play has been really frustrating, and he's been “struggling like heck with it... he's in the damn ditch.”

Jenkins said Nielson's expectations were to have a “terrific front” and so did all of us watching from the sideline. With no real shuffle of the position, the outcome has been “disappointing.” He advised Coach Nielson to keep doing what he's doing because it has worked in the past and there have been flashes of good defensive line play.

The New Orleans Saints' defensive line has remained decently healthy throughout the year but yet, have put out some of their worst numbers. The leading sack-getter for the Saints is LB Demario Davis with 6. Cam Jordan leads all defensive linemen with 5.5 and next is David Onyemata with 3.5. Payton Turner has appeared in 6 games and has tallied 2 sacks, while Marcus Davenport has appeared in 9 and only has a .5 sack to show for it. LB Kaden Ellis is 4th on the team with 3 sacks.

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