LA Rams double down on DBs, re-hire Coach Aubrey Pleasant
By Bret Stuter
The last time LA Rams had Coach Aubrey Pleasant on their staff, the Rams secondary was touted as one of the best secondaries in the NFL. It was the off-season after the LA Rams defense was the top-ranked defense in the NFL, a fact that would result in then Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley being lured to take over the reins of the LA Chargers.
There were plenty of changes for the Rams organization that year. Two Rams personnel execs would leave to take over with the Detroit Lions, and Aubrey Pleasant would leave to become the Detroit Lions secondary coach. Pleasant is a coach who holds his players accountable, sets high standards, and is adamant that they reflect the hard work from training camp and the practice field when they play on game day.
But Pleasant did not remain with the Detroit Lions. He was working with a new group of players, and the defense was seriously embedded in a rebuild that has yet to truly turn the corner. But as is often the case, the coaching staff needed to make an example, and Pleasant was released mid-season. He was quickly hired by the Green Bay Packers one week later, a position he held through the end of the 2022 NFL Season.
Pleasant days are here again
But the LA Rams were not oblivious to his release, they simply did not have the vacant position to immediately hire him when he was a free agent. Now, with the Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris back in the fold, the team can restock their defensive coaches and this one truly feels like a grand slam.
While there is never a chance for 'going back,' again, the move feels right on many levels that we will touch base on in a future article. For now, this is a significant hire. Not only does the Rams organization know Pleasant's work ethic and results, but he is quite familiar to the team's veteran defensive backs as well.
It's that familiarity that I value most in this hire. After all, who better to bring a high standard of play, work with the players, and do it in the course of one season of OTAs, training camp, and preseason than a guy who was with the team as recently as two years ago. Not only does this spell new hope for the Rams secondary as a whole, but it gives those players who have fallen out of favor like Jordan Fuller and Robert Rochell a new lease on life in this defense.
No, this is not the solution to everything. It may not be the solution to anything. But it does place one of the most highly respected Rams secondary coaches at the helm once more, and that means that a solution can and very likely will be found. The Rams secondary struggled a bit in 2022. With Aubrey Pleasant's return, I believe the LA Rams are onto the right track to turn this thing around quickly.