Advertisement

Falcons’ Jessie Bates gave Josh Allen a glowing review of Ryan Nielsen

The Jacksonville Jaguars are turning to Ryan Nielsen to lead the way for their defense, and — barring a shocking turn of events — Josh Allen will be a key piece in making the unit a success in 2024 and beyond.

It’s still too early for Allen and other Jaguars players to have much of an impression of their new defensive coordinator, though.

Fortunately for Allen, he got to spend time with players across the NFL at the 2024 Pro Bowl Games. While he was there, he picked the brain of Atlanta Falcons safety Jessie Bates, who spent the 2023 season with Nielsen.

“Jessie who played under him, you know, he’s a guy that I went up to, like ‘Hey, how’s Coach Nielsen?'” Allen said, via Jamal St. Cyr of News4Jax. “He gave me the little rundown of, you know, what to expect.

“But it seemed like guys like playing for him and guys are gonna become the best, you know if they follow ‘the way,’ in a way. So, you know, I think it could be a real difference in Jacksonville.”

In Nielsen’s sole season in Atlanta, the Falcons finished 11th in yards allowed — a significant improvement from the team’s 27th place finish in the year prior.

Bates, who signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Falcons in free agency last year, had a career year in 2023, finishing with six interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 132 tackles — all career highs.

“The way he attacks things every day – he always talks about attack and aggressive – whether we’re on the field or in the meeting room or the weight room,” Bates said of Nielsen in June, via AtlantaFalcons.com, “He wants us to attack and be aggressive with everything we do.”

Allen had a career year of his own in 2023, finishing with 17.5 sacks. He needs 10.5 more to take the Jaguars’ career sack record from Tony Brackens.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire