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Vikings interview Ryan Nielsen for defensive coordinator job

Mike Florio and Charean Williams discuss the Vikings firing defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and how Minnesota will adjust its defensive scheme next season.

The Vikings have completed an interview with Saints assistant coach Ryan Nielsen for their defensive coordinator job, the team announced.

The Vikings are seeking a replacement for Ed Donatell, who they fired Thursday.

The Minnesota defense was one of the worst in franchise history finishing the season ranked 28th in points allowed (25.1) and 31st in yards allowed (388.7).

The Vikings also have requested interviews with Seahawks associate head coach for defense Sean Desai and Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores.

Nielsen is the co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for the Saints. He began his NFL coaching career in New Orleans in 2017 and has spent six years with the team.

He was defensive line coach from 2017-20 before adding assistant head coach duties in 2021 after LSU tried to hire him. When Sean Payton left a year ago, Nielsen became co-defensive coordinator.