Newly hired defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen is filling out his staff.
With Nielsen now the team’s new defensive coordinator, he has been quickly moving to fill out his position coaches.
One of those coaches hired was former LSU defensive coordinator Matt House. House is a well-known name around the NFL and will be serving as the team’s linebackers coach.
The #Jaguars are hiring Matt House as linebackers coach, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 24, 2024
House is highly regarded around the league, having been the #Chiefs LBs coach from 2019-2021. He was most recently LSU’s DC the past two seasons as well, helping the Tigers post back-to-back 10-win seasons.
So, who is House?
House has been coaching football since 2001, when he took a job as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He worked his way up to the NFL ranks in 2008, taking his first stop in the pros as an assistant special teams coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.
Since 2015, House has been a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in both college and the NFL.
During House’s coaching journey, he coached Jaguars’ franchise linebacker Josh Allen at Kentucky for two seasons. Allen had 14 sacks between 2016 and 2017 while House was on staff with the Wildcats. In 2018, Allen became a household name with 17 sacks.
House is most known for his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2019-2021. He was the team’s linebackers coach and helped the team to a victory in Super Bowl 54. He also coached the team in a second Super Bowl.
“I think (I’m) more well-rounded. I think (I’m) probably a better teacher,” House told reporters after taking the LSU DC job. “The one thing in the NFL that it forces you to do is you better be prepared to give them something every single day. From a preparation standpoint, there’s no doubt that I’m a better coach coming out of Kansas City.”
House’s coaching philosophy can be traced through Steve Spagnuolo, who House coached under with the St. Louis Rams (2009-2011) and for his three years with the Chiefs. Spagnuolo is known for lots of blitzing, but House seemingly likes his backers to be more adept in coverage.
Under House, Chiefs linebackers Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton were drafted and became starting-caliber players. Both Gay and Bolton are used primarily at the second level. If those two players are any indication, fans may see guys like Josh Allen dropping into coverage more often.
For the past two years, House was the defensive coordinator for LSU.
I’m excited for coach House and all of tiger nation! This man loves football & teaching! One of the best I’ve been around. This tiger defense will be well coached from day one! Let’s all buy in!!! FOREVER LSU! https://t.co/qjAdLpiFEz— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) December 29, 2021
In Baton Rouge, House’s defenses saw mixed results.
This past season, the LSU defense ranked 117th against the pass and 94th against the run. Notably, the Tigers gave up over 700 yards to Ole Miss. Injuries did plague much of LSU’s season on defense, but the unit was not bereft of talent with guys like Harold Perkins being healthy. The season prior, House’s defense was 15th in the country in defensive efficiency.
An example of how Jags fans may see a change in the linebackers can be seen through Perkins. Thanks to data compiled by Rivals, we can see a clear shift in how Perkins was used.
As a freshman in 2022, the linebacker lined up as a pass rusher on about 55% of his snaps. He earned a 12.9% pass rush win rate which was one of the best marks in the nation. In 2023, Perkins dropped into coverage considerably more, only rushing about 30% of the time and garnering a 10.2% pass rush win rate.
This upcoming draft will likely be a large tell into how this new defensive staff is thinking. With plenty of veteran and rookie linebackers alike, that group may see an overhaul under House. A linebackers coach does not make or break a team, but the way the Jags do things on defense will certainly look different in 2024. House will be a good part of it.