Jaguars coach Gus Bradley made a bold decision to move Tyson Alualu from defensive tackle to end in the offseason.
The move has paid off in the season’s second half.

As Alualu has grown more comfortable with his new spot, the Jaguars have become a much better defense at stopping the run.

“Getting repetitions and being in games, you start to get more and more comfortable with the scheme,” Alualu said. “I’m understanding my job and trying to do it to the best of my ability. That understanding has helped me play faster.”

The Jaguars gave up an average of 161.8 rushing yards through their first eight games, all losses. That was the worst total in the NFL.

However, since the bye week, the Jaguars have discovered how to be more effective against the run. During the last five games, the Jaguars are allowing an average of 72.8 yards on the ground. No team in that span has hit the 100-yard mark. The improvement has moved the Jaguars to 28th in the league in run defense. More importantly, the Jaguars have managed to win four of their last five games, including the last three.

Alualu’s play is a major reason for the improvement. He’ll try to continue his production when the Jaguars (4-9) host Buffalo (4-9) on Sunday at EverBank Field. The Bills have the league’s fifth-best run offense (133.6 yards a game).

“He’s been really solid for us,” Bradley said. “I think maybe early in the year he was getting a feel for this Four-B technique that we’re playing and now you’re seeing some production take place from him. Where you see it is in the run game. Some plays maybe earlier in the year were explosive plays and now he’s making those plays on cutbacks and things like that. We’re very pleased with the progress he’s made.”

Alualu has been in the spotlight since being selected in the first round (10th overall) in the 2010 draft. While he hasn’t produced splashy stats, he has been reliable. Alualu is the only Jaguars defender to start the last 61 games. He’s never missed a start.