4 Jaguars players who aren't safe with Ryan Nielsen as the defensive coordinator

• The Jaguars brougth in Ryan Nielsen to fix their defense

• A handful of players should benefit from his presence

• Others could see themselves affected by the defensive coordinator

Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Yasir Abdullah (56) on the
Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Yasir Abdullah (56) on the / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Jacksonville Jaguars parted ways with Mike Caldwell after watching the defense crumble in the second half of the 2023 season. After a comprehensive search, they chose Ryan Nielsen to fill their defensive coordinator vacancy. Even though the Jags met with several qualified candidates (Wink Martindale, Chris Hewitt), they arguably ended up with the best of the bunch.

Nielsen, who held the same position with the Atlanta Falcons last year, has his work cut out for 2024. He will be tasked with making sure his unit remains disciplined and prepared, something they didn't always achieve last year.

Working in his favor is that Nielsen has always put a premium on physicality and fundamentals, attributes that will help him get the most out of his personnel. While his philosophy will benefit a handful of players, others, including the next four, could ultimately be affected.

4. Tyler Lacy, defensive end

The Jaguars have poured lots of resources on the defensive line but the returns have been minimal. Last year, they gave new deals to Roy Robertson-Harris and DaVon Hamilton with the expectation that they would set the tone. Unfortunately, neither had the impact the team envisioned. Similarly, defensive end Tyler Lacy didn't do much of a note, which is why opposing teams had no trouble moving the ball at ease down the stretch in 2023.

Lacy, a fourth-round pick in last year's draft, got minimal playing time. Granted, it's not realistic to expect mid-round picks to have a feature role right off the bat but you want them to contribute somehow. In Lacy's case, his rookie season was unremarkable, registering a measly 12 total tackles and one tackle for a loss.

Nielse's area of expertise is the defensive line, so Lacy could flourish under his tutelage and turn into a dependable rotational piece. Conversely, there's a chance he will flop. As the adage says, pressure makes diamonds but also burst pipes. The 2024 season will tell the Jaguars where Lacy falls.