LSU Football: Fans shouldn’t be mad about Tigers missing on Ryan Nielsen

LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron -- Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron -- Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The optics of LSU football‘s search for a new defensive coordinator to replace Bo Pelini aren’t great right now.

LSU missed on their top target — former Cincinnati Bearcats defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman — after it looked like they were close to hiring him.

Freeman ended up taking the defensive coordinator job at Notre Dame instead of joining Ed Orgeron’s staff in Baton Rouge.

That didn’t really come as much of a surprise. Freeman is from the midwest and has ties to Notre Dame. The Irish were always going to be the favorites over LSU simply because of geography. That was completely out of Coach O’s control.

But what about LSU’s latest miss?

LSU football missing on Ryan Nielsen is more than understandable

On Monday, it looked like the Tigers finally had their replacement for Pelini.

New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen was reportedly “finalizing a deal” to become LSU’s new defensive coordinator.

And then things took a turn.

New Orleans reportedly held up the deal because of language in Nielsen’s contract that essentially allowed the Saints to keep him from going to LSU.

As LSU was trying to work through those issues, Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell agreed to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Campbell leaving New Orleans gave the Saints an opportunity to give Nielsen a new contract and a new title (he’s now the assistant head coach in New Orleans).

There’s simply no way LSU can compete with that.

Look, there’s a reason that guys try to get to the NFL. It’s because it’s a better job. It’s more about football and less about recruiting. And that’s a big draw for a lot of guys (especially with the transfer portal becoming a factor, which means teams have to re-recruit their own players).

Next. Who would replace Coach O if a change were made?. dark

The Tigers’ search will continue. But it’s not because this search is a mess. Far from it. Things just haven’t worked out because of very legitimate reasons.

Eventually, Orgeron will find the right fit and it will all fall into place.