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Change in Scheme Is the Most Anticipated Defensive Storyline of 2024 

0709 Defensive Storyline Article

JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars experts – Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2024 NFL season approaches; today: Defensive storyline to watch

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • Defensive storyline to watch: The changes. Defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen is new, the base formation is different — now a 4-3 — and the Jaguars have added some key additions up front and in the secondary. How much the defense improves will have everything to do with how good this team is.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive End

  • Defensive storyline to watch: Nielsen and his scheme. Nielsen brings a new system to Jacksonville and how quickly can he get the players to fit and find comfort is key.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • Defensive storyline to watch: The most important defensive storyline is who's playing the cornerback positions other than Tyson Campbell. Is Ronald Darby going to start? Will rookie Jarrian Jones start outside or inside? Is Darnell Savage definitely the starting nickel or could he move back to safety? I really like the depth at cornerback for the Jaguars, but I don't really know who will stand out the most as we enter training camp.
Jacksonville, Fla. — Jaguars defense during OTAs at the Miller Electric Center on May 23, 2024

John Oehser, senior writer

  • Defensive storyline to watch: Will the front seven be good or great? The thought here is the Jaguars' front at minimum will be good. Edges Josh Hines-Allen and Travon Walker form the strength of the unit and the addition of lineman Arik Armstead as an unrestricted free agent from the San Francisco 49ers figures to give the front a third impact player it lacked last season. But the Jaguars interior defense faded late last season. Can the return to health of defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and the addition of Armstead make this defense stout enough against the run? The answer to that question could dictate the level of this defense in 2024.

Brian Sexton, Senior Correspondent

  • Defensive storyline to watch: How long will it take for Nielsen to have his side of the ball functioning at a high level? There are plenty of good players on all three levels and the unit had a good spring working through the system – and most importantly, communicating with one another.

J.P. Shadrick, reporter/editor

  • Defensive storyline to watch: Does the secondary have the right pieces in the right places in the new defense? Campbell and safety Andre Cisco seem to be in the lineup, but there could be some new faces in the other two-to-three positions.

Kainani Stevens, Team Reporter/Producer

  • Defensive storyline to watch: Will a change in leadership and scheme make all the difference? The Jaguars defense fell off dramatically in the second half of last season. Nielsen will be charged with getting the Jags back on track.

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