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Official: Ryan Nielsen Hired as Jaguars Defensive Coordinator


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' new defensive direction is set.

Ryan Nielsen has been hired as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator, the team announced Monday, January 22. Nielsen served in the same position with the Atlanta Falcons in 2023.

Nielsen also served as the Falcons' defensive line coach in 2023.

Nielsen, 44, spent 2017-2022 with the New Orleans Saints and served as the defensive line coach all six seasons. He served as co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach in 2022 and assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2021.

He spent four seasons as defensive line coach at North Carolina State from 2013-2016, also serving as recruiting coordinator in 2013 and run-game coordinator the final three seasons there. He previously coached collegiately at Northern Illinois (2011-2012), Tennessee-Martin (2010), Central Connecticut State (2008-2009), Mississippi (2005-2007) and Southern California (2002).

He played defensive tackle collegiately at Southern California from 1997-2001.

The Falcons ranked 18th in points (21.9 per game) allowed in 2023 after ranking 23rd in 2022 (22.7) and ranked 11th in yards allowed in 2023 (321.1) after ranking 27th the previous season (362.1). They registered 42 sacks in 2023 after registering 21 in 2022.

The Jaguars parted ways with defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell on January 8, the day after the end of the 2023 regular season. They also that day parted ways with multiple members of the defensive coaching staff.

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