Earlier this week, the New Orleans Saints lost assistant coach Dan Campbell – who became the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Not long after, it seemed like the team would lose top assistant Ryan Nielsen as well. On Monday, reports noted that Nielsen was the prime target for LSU’s vacant defensive coordinator position.
NFL Network’s Jane Slater went on to report that there might be some language in Nielsen’s Saints contract that prevented him from leaving. In the end, the Saints convinced him to stay.
Whether head coach Sean Payton blocked the move, or Nielsen decided on his own, he’ll remain with the Saints and have a new title to boot.
Following all the commotion, Payton addressed his relationship with Nielsen, via the team site
“We’re outstanding,” he said. “We’re fantastic, fired up that he’s returning. Every once in a while in this business, you have talented people and you work with, you work hard and they have other opportunities and then every once in a while, you go into recruiting mode.
Payton obviously loves having Nielsen on the staff, which is why he wasn’t able to let him go.
He watched as LSU recently poached one of his top assistants – Joe Brady – who became one of the hottest coaching candidates at the collegiate and NFL level. Just a few years later, Brady became the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers.
Payton wasn’t willing to let go of another.
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