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Jaguars DC Ryan Nielsen Shares Why Jacksonville in the O-Zone Hot Seat

053124 Nielsen Ozone

JACKSONVILLE – He answered simply, succinctly.

Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen was discussing his new team, new defense and new surroundings this week. "Why," came the question, "Jacksonville?"

"Why not?" came the reply.

Nielsen, hired as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator in January, joined senior writer John Oehser for this week's 2024 offseason O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including just how he would describe his defensive scheme and approach.

"We don't want to be pigeonholed in terms of, 'This is exactly who we are,''' Nielsen said. "We want to be evolving. We want to be cutting edge."

Nielsen told the story of Jaguars defensive coaches meeting as a staff shortly after being assembled early this offseason.

"We got in there and we threw everything up on the board and then we picked holes in everything," he said. "Everybody had input how we want to be in Jacksonville. That was a great time. You're hearing guys talk and coach, 'Hey, we did it like this. We did it like that.'

"What's the ultimate is what's best for us here in Jacksonville and that's what we've done."

Nielsen added, "We've thrown it all in there and we've taken the best parts out of everything. It's going to be a little bit different. You can call it whatever you want. It could be a 4-2-5, 4-3, 3-4 because we want to have the best parts of every scheme."

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen during voluntary offseason workouts at the Miller Electric Center on April 29, 2024.

Nielsen also discussed his "attack/aggressive" philosophy that he emphasizes with players whatever the day, week or month.

"We want to be aggressive, forward-leaning, then let that bleed over to our play," he said. "It's a confidence. Don't just sit back and just listen. Be active in the meeting. Be engaged. Ask questions. Understand the reasons why we're doing things.

"Then you get the confidence. You walk taller. It all goes together with the players and it's a constant. It's an everyday reminder. We don't have a lot of sayings or a lot of gimmicks. This is just who we are and what we believe."

As for "why Jacksonville," Nielsen said the reasons range from Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, to Head Coach Doug Pederson, to General Manager Trent Baalke to Jaguars players and more.

"We've got great people here," Nielsen said. "Every part of the building that you go into, you feel that. We have knowledgeable people who want to help and be part of a winner. It's a great combination.

"We just want to do our part and help continue that and make this team win."

To listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Nielsen, please click HERE.

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