Sean Payton “fired up” about Ryan Nielsen’s return


When the week began, it looked like Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen would be heading to LSU to become the school’s new defensive coordinator.

The Saints said Nielsen’s contract blocked the move, however, and Wednesday brought word that he will remain with the team. Nielsen signed a three-year extension and added the title of assistant head coach.

On Thursday, head coach Sean Payton discussed his excitement about that turn of events.

“We’re outstanding,” Payton said, via the team’s website. “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. He’s someone that very soon, you’re going to see as a head coach at the NFL level. He’s extremely talented, and I’m fired up that he’s returning. And I’m fired up that he’s signed on for three more years.”

The Saints will have some holes to fill on Payton’s staff. Assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell is now the Lions head coach and defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn is going with him as their defensive coordinator. It looks like defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will be back, though. He interviewed with the Eagles, but they are hiring Nick Sirianni as their next head coach.