Atlanta Falcons lose DC Ryan Nielsen to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Ryan Nielsen will become the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator after turning the Atlanta Falcons defense around in one season

Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals
Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals / Mike Christy/GettyImages

Following the firing of head coach Arthur Smith, the writing was on the wall for Atlanta Falcons stud defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen—he was on his way out.

While there was some hope for him to stay after a blocked interview request, the Falcons will watch him take his talent and scheme down to Jacksonville as he becomes the new defensive coordinator of the Jaguars.

Atlanta Falcons lose DC Ryan Nielsen to the Jacksonville Jaguars

It was fun while it lasted. Ryan Nielsen came to the Atlanta Falcons following the retirement of Dean Pees, hoping to turn around a defense that had been chronically terrible.

That he did as he transformed the defense into a unit that led this team every week—excluding the final two weeks when they ran out of gas.

It was a remarkable turnaround that proved Nielsen was an excellent football coach. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for his head coach Arthur Smith who ended up getting fired after his third season. With a head coaching change, usually comes an entirely new staff and that will be the case for the Falcons.

There was a moment where we had hope that Nielsen would be retained after the Falcons blocked an interview request from the Jaguars. But, after meeting with other coaches (more specifically, Bill Belichick) the Falcons changed course and allowed other teams to pursue Nielsen.

They will now be officially losing him as the Jaguars have just named him as their new defensive coordinator. Nielsen will replace Mike Caldwell who the team fired after the season's end.

This certainly hurts but there is no reason to think the Falcons can't continue their defensive momentum going into the 2024 season. It is another offseason for them to improve even more.

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