The Saints lost a good football coach Friday, when co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen left for Atlanta.

The move is a promotion for Nielsen, who will coordinate the Atlanta defense. If he does well there, Nielsen is a potentially a head coach candidate in the near future.

Nielsen and co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard did a solid job in 2022. The Saints were 9th in the NFL in points per game, allowing a little more than 20 points a contest.

The look for the Saints is not good. A good coach, leaves for your archrival.

And, frankly, it is easy to see why. Saints head coach Dennis Allen, while returning in 2023, likely has to fashion at the very least a winning record to return past next season. Timing is everything, and Nielsen likely saw a head coach, who while not on the hot seat, has to make substantial progress.

There could be more fallout from this move.

Defensive end Marcus Davenport is a potential free agent, and Atlanta could be a landing spot because of Nielsen, and Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, who was in the Saints front office, before leaving for Atlanta.

Nielsen also gives his new team significant intel on the Saints.

And, the Falcons will get to use that and Nielsen’s skills, at least twice a year against their NFC South archrivals.