What will Ryan Nielsen's fate with the Atlanta Falcons be?

Defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen could find himself walking out the door if the Atlanta Falcons fire head coach Arthur Smith

Atlanta Falcons v Tennessee Titans
Atlanta Falcons v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

When an NFL team fires their head coach, it usually means they are firing the rest of the staff. New coaches like to bring in faces that they know and will mesh with.

This brings up a huge question with the Atlanta Falcons: what will happen to defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen if the Falcons decide to fire Arthur Smith?

Atlanta Falcons DC Ryan Nielsen could be on his way out the door after a remarkable turnaround

What Ryan Nielsen has done with the Atlanta Falcons has been nothing short of remarkable. He took a defense that had been terrible for years and made it into one of the best in the entire NFL within a few months.

He has led a unit that has been the identity of this team.

Now, he might be on his way out the door because his head coach couldn't do the same. The Atlanta Falcons are considering firing head coach Arthur Smith and if that happens then Ryan Nielsen could be looking for a new job.

It is rare to see a coordinator be retained after a head coach is fired. New coaches usually want to bring in their own coaches and/or the coordinator would rather hit the reset button in a new city.

While the odds are technically stacked against Nielsen, I could see a new head coach retaining Nielsen. He has proven to be one of the best in the NFL and there is no reason to change his role.

There is also the possibility that Nielsen is hired as a head coach by the Falcons or by another team. I believe he will attract some interviews from other teams. He could be a sneaky name for teams looking for a new head coach.

And then, obviously, there is still a good chance that Arthur Smith is retained. If he is then Nielsen is safe and we will have to endure another year of bad offense and great defense.

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