STAFF - Coaching Joe Lombardi - Quarterbacks Joe Lombardi enters his ninth season as a member of the Saints coaching staff in 2017, now in his second stint in New Orleans after coaching with the club from 2007-13. This is his seventh campaign tutoring the quarterbacks. Lombardi guided Drew Brees to an astounding 2016 performance, as the renowned QB padded his sterling resume by throwing for over 5,000 yards (5,208) for the fifth time in his career – no other player has accomplished the same feat more than once. Brees also set an NFL single-season record for completions (471) and led or tied for the league lead in passing yardage for an NFLrecord seventh time, earning a Pro Bowl berth. In addition to the league-leading completions and yardage totals,
he ranked second in completion percentage (70.0%), third in touchdown passes (37) and fifth in passer rating (101.7) and third-down passer rating (107.9). Lombardi – the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi – is a 1994 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned three letters as a tight end and one in lacrosse. PLAYING CAREER: Air Force, 1991-94. COACHING CAREER: Dayton, 1996-98; Virginia Military Institute, 1999; Bucknell University,2000; New York/New Jersey Hitmen (XFL), 2001; Mercyhurst College, 200205; Atlanta Falcons, 2006; New Orleans Saints, 2007-13; Detroit Lions, 2014-15; New Orleans Saints, 2016-.
Ryan Nielsen – Defensive Line Ryan Nielsen will tutor the Saints defensive line in his first campaign as a NFL assistant after a 14-year tenure in college coaching. From 2013-2016, he was the defensive line/recruiting coordinator/run game coordinator at North Carolina State. 2016 saw the Wolfpack rank eighth in the FBS in rush defense and lead the ACC, allowing just 108.6 rushing yards per game — the school’s best mark since 2004. A Broyles Award candidate in 2015, given annually to college football’s top assistant coach, Nielsen earned this recognition tutoring a Wolfpack defensive line that was part of a defense that ranked 29th in the FBS. Nielsen, a Simi Valley, Calif. native who started 30
games at DT at USC from 1998-2001, finished his college career with 107 career tackles and was voted the team’s Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1999. He graduated with a degree in public policy in 2002 and went to training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played for the Arena Football League’s Los Angeles Avengers in 2004. PLAYING CAREER: Southern California, 1997-01; Los Angeles Avengers (Arena Football League), 2004. COACHING CAREER: Southern California, 2002, Idaho, 2004; Mississippi, 2005-07; Central Connecticut State, 2008-09; Tennessee-Martin, 2010; Northern Illinois, 2011-12; North Carolina State, 2013-16; New Orleans Saints, 2017-.
Mike Nolan – Linebackers Mike Nolan, an NFL stalwart, enters his first season with the Saints as linebackers coach. A 35-year coaching veteran, Nolan will be entering his 30th year coaching in the NFL, including four seasons as a head coach (San Francisco, 2005-08) and 17 campaigns as a defensive coordinator. The son of 11-year NFL head coaching veteran Dick Nolan who guided the Saints from 1978-80, Mike Nolan served as linebackers coach of the San Diego Chargers in 2015 and garnered impressive performances from a trio of young players at his position group. 2013 Second-round draft pick Manti Te’o led the team with 107 tackles, while rookie Denzel Perryman ranked second on the club with 95 stops, despite starting only nine contests. On the outside, Melvin Ingram led the team and tied for 12th in the NFL with 10.5 sacks.
Nolan was a three-year starter at safety at Oregon, after initially enrolling and joining the team as a walk-on. After beginning his coaching career at his alma mater in 1981, he then tutored linebackers and defensive backs at Stanford (198283) and Rice (1984-85), before coaching linebackers at LSU in 1986 prior to entering the NFL coaching ranks with Denver. PLAYING CAREER: Oregon, 1978-80 COACHING CAREER: Oregon, 1981; Stanford, 1982-83; Rice, 1984-85; LSU, 1986; Denver Broncos, 1987-92; N.Y. Giants, 1993-96; Washington Redskins, 1997-99; N.Y. Jets, 2000; Baltimore Ravens, 2001-04; San Francisco 49ers (Head Coach), 2005-08; Denver Broncos, 2009; Miami Dolphins, 2010-11; Atlanta Falcons, 2012-14; San Diego Chargers, 2015; New Orleans Saints, 2017-.
Brendan Nugent – Assistant Offensive Line Brendan Nugent, a 12-year coaching veteran, joined the Saints in 2015 and assists the team’s offensive staff in all aspects of game preparation, while also working closely with Dan Roushar in tutoring the offensive line. Prior to coming to New Orleans, Nugent served as an offensive quality control coach with the Chicago Bears from 2013-14, after serving as the CFL’s Monteal Alouettes as a special teams assistant and offensive quality control coach in 2012. Nugent spent the previous five seasons (2007-11) at William & Mary coaching several offensive positions. He started in the college coaching ranks in
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2005 at the University of Iowa as an offensive assistant. Nugent received his first coaching job at his alma mater Archbishop Stepinac High School in his hometown of White Plains, N.Y., overseeing the linebackers in 2004. He played linebacker for three seasons at The Catholic University of America. PLAYING CAREER: Catholic University of America, 2001-03. COACHING CAREER: Iowa, 2005-06; William & Mary, 2007-11; Montreal Alouettes (CFL), 2012; Chicago Bears, 2013-14; New Orleans Saints, 2015-.