Kris Richard has another defensive coordinator job again.
After being fired by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 season, Richard went to the Dallas Cowboys for a short stint, before ending up with the New Orleans Saints as DBs coach in 2021. Now, after just one season, Richard has been promoted to share the defensive coordinator duties along with fellow Pete Carroll coaching tree member Ryan Nielsen.
Richard spent eight seasons with the Seahawks, coming over with Carroll from USC after being a grad assistant for two seasons. He then worked his way up to taking over the role of defensive coordinator after Dan Quinn’s departure for Atlanta. Richard is known predominantly for his role in building up the Legion of Boom, as he was the Seahawks’ assistant DBs coach, then cornerbacks coach, and then head DBs coach, all during 2010-2014.
Following his departure, Richard went to the Cowboys to be their defensive backs coach for two seasons before he was not retained following the firing of Jason Garrett. New Orleans ranked 4th in pass defense DVOA, only one spot worse than they were in 2020.
Nielsen, who will be Richard’s co-defensive coordinator, is also a member of Carroll’s coaching tree as he was a defensive tackle at USC under Pete Carroll before becoming a volunteer assistant for one season at his alma mater. Nielsen made his way through multiple college coaching positions before landing with the Saints in 2017, where he has been the defensive line coach from then until now.