LA Rams CB coach Aubrey Pleasant to interview with Lions
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams are witnessing another wave of defection from the coaching staff. While it is just an interview stage, cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant is an outstanding secondary coach and will have the chance to prove it if all goes well in his interview with the Detroit Lions. You see, he will interview for the secondary coach of the Detroit Lions. Since this will be a promotion, the Rams will be unable to block it.
It makes sense for Pleasant, whose name has been mentioned twice in two years when the team sought to fill the vacated defensive coordinator position. On both occasions, the Rams elected to hire a different candidate. That not only meant no defensive candidate role for Pleasant, but it has embedded him in a minor positional role for consecutive years. He has been considered one of the Rams’ hot young coaching talents, and he is now stretching his wings elsewhere.
Should Pleasant hire on with the Lions, he will be the second critical defensive coach to leave this offseason. Former linebacker coach Joe Barry followed former defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to the LA Chargers, where we will take on the title of defensive passing game coordinator.
Much like Barry, Pleasant has been more than just a solid tactician for defensive coverage. He has been instrumental in coaching up defensive backs. His work with Darious Williams has been phenomenal, as has his ability to coach up Troy Hill in 2019 into a capable NFL starting defensive back. All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey lobbied hard for the Rams to promote Pleasant to the defensive coordinator role, citing ‘I’ve taken my game to another level,’ and crediting the improvement to working with Coach Pleasant.
In almost a parallel fashion to the Rams exodus of offensive coaches, the team is now under siege to retain any coach who had a hand in the Rams’ top-ranked defense for 2020. But as anyone who rode the emotional roller coaster of that time frame can attest to, the Rams always seem to find a way to land back on their feet.
The Lions had hired former Rams Director of College Scouting Brad Holmes, and it’s no doubt Holmes who lobbied for the Detroit Lions to interview Aubrey Pleasant for their opening. In all honesty, I cannot fathom any way Pleasant does not get hired. He is a positive, knowledgeable, energetic, and charismatic coach with a huge upside to eventually take on a larger role with the team.
Yes, the LA Rams suffer another critical blow to their defense. Losing Aubrey Pleasant truly depletes the coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball. Now, newly hired defensive coordinator Raheem Morris must spearhead recruiting efforts to land both a linebackers coach as well as a new cornerback or secondary coach.
The Rams will absolutely miss both Joe Barry and Aubrey Pleasant (if he’s hired). But that is what sets apart great teams from good teams. Once more, the Rams will need to reload on-the-fly. Can they do it? Time will tell. But it’s time to buckle up folks. We’re about to go on another emotional roller coaster ride.