The LA Rams have shown that they can, and have, learned from their mistakes. That has led the team to restore players who had walked away in free agency or were waived by the team. Like who? As two examples, the Rams re-signed tight end Kendall Blanton and running back Malcolm Brown in 2022. Neither had stellar seasons, but the Rams roster, ravaged by injuries, had little choice other than to re-sign two veterans who could hit the track running.
But what of the LA Rams coaching staff? We know that the Rams’ secondary, once considered one of the best secondaries in the NFL, showed clear signs of regression. Players who had once flourished for the Rams, like defensive back Terrell Burgess, were released mid-season or benched in favor of players who, based on what I and many fans witnessed, were simply not effective enough to play any closer than a 10+ yard cushion.
Promising defensive back Robert Rochell never saw the field, and the team opted to deploy rookies who were not quite ready for the NFL. It was all a stark contrast to previous seasons when defensive backs appeared to be more prepared, could play far more aggressively, and were instrumental to the Rams boasting the top NFL defense in 2020.
Of course, the Rams’ defensive backs were coached by Aubrey Pleasant at the time. Since then Pleasant had signed on to become the secondary coach for the Detroit Lions.
Well, wait. . . that relationship ended this season when the Lions fired Pleasant.
And we have an opening for a secondary coach, as the LA Rams have since parted ways with defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley.
So are you thinking what I’m thinking? After all, Aubrey Pleasant was the Rams’ cornerbacks coach who was the backbone of the team’s strong secondary. He is a gritty take-no-prisoners approach to pass defense, a coach whose perspective is that any pass thrown belongs as much to the defensive back as to the targetted receiver.
And perhaps the LA Rams secondary needs a booster shot of that fire and brimstone mentality. Speculation? Perhaps. But I for one cannot see a flaw in rehiring him to coach the Rams’ secondary for 2023. Not only did he have an energetic and productive group when he last coached for the Rams, but even the young rookies seemed much more effective and prepared when they took the field.
Will the Rams rehire Pleasant? I certainly hope so.