The Atlanta Falcons are diligently looking for their next defensive coordinator following Dean Pees’ retirement. The team requested an interview with Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero on Friday, however, Denver blocked the request.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, the Falcons have since sought an interview with Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen.
Nielsen, 43, was hired by the Saints as the defensive line coach in 2017 when Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot was still in New Orleans’ front office. In 2021, Nielsen was promoted to assistant head coach and then named co-defensive coordinator in 2022.
Atlanta also reportedly requested an interview with Green Bay Packers defensive passing game coordinator Jerry Gray. As ESPN’s Michael Rothstein explains below, Gray has experience working with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith in both Washington and Tennessee.
Gray spent three years as the Titans defensive coordinator (2011-13), before serving as the defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Gray took the same position on the Packers coaching staff in 2022, and was promoted to passing game coordinator in 2021.
Stay tuned for more interview updates as the Falcons attempt to find Pees’ replacement.
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