Jaguars coaching staff gets encouraging remarks in CBS Sports' latest ranking

• The Jaguars made changes to the coaching staff this offseason but maybe they didn't make enough.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson gives a thumbs up before a regular season NFL football
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson gives a thumbs up before a regular season NFL football / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA

After failing to make the playoffs in 2023, the Jacksonville Jaguars made a handful of changes to their coaching staff. It's uncertain if it will be enough to help them bounce back next season but at least they got an encouraging review from Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports.

Dajani recently ranked all NFL coaching staffs by tiers ranging from "Cream of the Crop" to "Last Chance Before Changes?" The Jags fell somewhere in the middle in the "Promising Outlook" category. Other teams that landed in the same tier were the Indianapolis Colts, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Minnesota Vikings. Regarding Jacksonville, Dejani argues that the arrival of defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen could be huge.

"We know Pederson has a Super Bowl ring, but maybe the main reason why I have the Jags in the "promising" category is because they replaced defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell with Ryan Nielsen. Nielsen had a hand in the Atlanta Falcons' defensive turnaround last season, taking what was the sixth-worst unit in 2022, to No. 11."

While injuries and lackluster depth certainly played a role in the Jaguars' 2023 collapse, the coaching staff should also shoulder plenty of blame. Communication issues plagued the offense throughout the season and that falls on offensive coordinator Press Taylor. Similarly, Taylor didn't make an effort to establish the run, making the offense one-dimensional.

You could argue that the offensive line couldn't block, but it's his job to work around that issue, something he wasn't able to do. The Houston Texans also had issues up front but their offense was among the best in the league. The bottom line is that Taylor needs to be more creative as a playcaller and get the most out of his personnel in 2024. On defense, Ryan Neilsen will take over a group that lacked discipline at times last year.

The defense struggled to tackle and was particularly vulnerable on the ground as the season progressed. Nielsen will put an emphasis on fundamentals and technique to ensure the Jaguars play sound defense in 2024. If he has the same impact he had for the Atlanta Falcons last year, Jacksonville could have one of the top defenses in the league.

The Jaguars make important changes to the coaching staff, the roster is next

It was a bit surprising to see the Jaguars retain Press Taylor but Doug Pederson doesn't think he was the main reason the offense had a hard time moving thethe ball and reaching the end zone last year. It will be up to Taylor to prove the organization made the right call, but if they want him to succeed, general manager Trent Baalke must do his part and make upgrades to the offensive line. Similarly, he needs to add depth to the wide receivers corps.

On defense, the Jaguars have a handful of building blocks, such as outside linebacker Josh Allen, safety Andre Cisco, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, and Travon Walker, the first overall pick in 2022. However, Baalke will need to give Ryan Nielsen a few more players if the defense is to take off next season. A third pass rusher would be welcome, and depth at cornerback could come in handy. On top of that, the front office must make sure Allen is a Jaguar beyond 2024.

All things considered, the coaching staff has their work cut out but there are most definitely reasons for optimism. If they do their job, and get the most out of their players, the Jacksonville Jaguars will have a realistic chance to return to the playoffs and win the AFC South in 2024.

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