Jaguars HC Doug Pederson excited about Ryan Nielsen and other staff additions

• Jaguars 'HC Doug Pederson discussed the additions to the coaching staff at the NFL Scouting Combine

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

The Jacksonville Jaguars made considerable changes to the defensive staff after failing to make the playoffs last year. Head coach Doug Pederson traveled to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine and talked about the coaching additions.

Pederson said he believes the current coaching staff is going to get the most out of his players. He then added that there were going to be a few changes but all of them will be for the better. One of the changes the Jaguars could undergo in 2024 will be on defense. Ryan Nielsen runs a 4-3 will his predecesor, Mike Caldwell, prefered a 3-4 scheme. Here's what he had to say about the new arrivals.

"It was a really good process for me to go through," Pederson told the media at the combine. "We came away all feeling really good about Ryan Nielsen, what he brings, where he's been and who he's been around, the players he's coached and what he can bring to our defense. Mat House, been in the NFL, with Kansas City Chiefs. He's won a Super Bowl, been a defensive coordinator, a great history there to to be the inside backer coach.

"I kept Bill Shuey as the outside backers, Rory Segrest is still assistant D-Line. Kris Richard, been in the NFL has been on a Super Bowl team. So guys that have had these these backgrounds of success and coach players at a high level are all guys that I wanted on staff. Cory Robinson, who coached with Ryan in New Orleans, obviously came from the University of Tennessee helping in the secondary. I look at Jeremy Garrett, the defensive line coach, he has a good collegiate background, Pederson said.

The Jaguars defense ranked 10th in points scored in the league in 2022. However, it fell to 17th last season. While they got off to a strong start, they relented as the year progressed, with missed tackles and blown coverages becoming an issue. Pederson said after the season ended one reason he made changes to the coaching staff was that they didn't sometimes operate with a sense of urgency. They would at time wait to fix issues until later in meetings instead of doing it right then.

The addition of Ryan Nielsen should be big for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2024

While there were many reasons for the Jaguars' collapse in 2023, coaching certainly played a role. You could make the case that Doug Pederson should've moved on from offensive coordinator Press Taylor but he believes he wasn't the reason the offense. Whether it was the right decision, bringing Ryan Nielsen aboard could be big.

By hiring Nielsen, the top brass' took a considerable step to fix their issues on defense. Nielsen coached at the collegiate level for several years before making the leap to the NFL in 2017. He got his start as a defensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints and eventually got co-defensive coordinator added to his responsabilities in 2022.

Nielsen was then by the Atlanta Falcons as their defensive coordinator in 2023. During his lone season calling the shots, the Falcons defense went from 27th to 11th in total defense. Moreover, Atlanta ranked fourth in the league in red-zone efficiency and third in conversion rate. As Pederson said, he'll put his players in a position to succeed.

The same can be said about Kris Richard, whose background working with defensive back coachs will help him get the most out of Tyson Campbell, Darious Williams, Antonio Johnson and Andre Cisco.

Having rounded the coaching staff, the Jacksonville Jaguars now have to turn their attention to making upgrades to the roster. Fortunately, they'll get to watch several prospects at the Scouting Combine that could be of help.

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