Vikings News: Minnesota increases list of possible defensive coordinators

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) Sean Desai
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) Sean Desai /

Among the most notable pieces of recent Minnesota Vikings news, the team has reportedly requested to meet with two more possible defensive coordinators.

On Saturday, we learned that the Minnesota Vikings had reportedly put in a request to meet with current Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores about taking Ed Donatell’s old job as the team’s next defensive coordinator.

Well, now two more interview requests have reportedly been made by the Vikings in their attempt to find someone new to run their defense.

For their defensive coordinator opening, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that Minnesota has requested to meet with New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, and the team has also reportedly made a request to interview Seattle Seahawks defensive assistant and associate head coach Sean Desai, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Vikings News: Who are Ryan Nielsen and Sean Desai?

Nielsen has been an NFL assistant since 2017 when the Saints made him their defensive line coach. He’s been with New Orleans since then, and in 2022, he was also the team’s co-defensive coordinator in addition to coaching the defensive line.

With Nielsen’s help, the Saints ranked ninth in the NFL this season in points allowed and fifth in yards allowed. During his time as New Orleans’ defensive line coach, he’s helped develop several of the team’s top pass rushers over the years, including Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, and Trey Hendrickson.

Like Nielsen, Desai only has one year of experience in the NFL as a defensive coordinator. That came in 2021 when he was put in charge of running the defense for the Chicago Bears. This was after spending nine years on the Bears’ defensive staff as a quality control coach and a safeties coach.

During his lone season as Chicago’s defensive coordinator, the team ranked 22nd in the league points allowed, sixth in total yards allowed, third in passing yards allowed, and 23rd in rushing yards allowed.

During Minnesota’s search for a defensive coordinator last year, Desai was among the candidates that were interviewed for the role. Will the second time be the charm for him?

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