The Lions coaching staff continues to gauge interest from other teams, as Aubrey Pleasant has now done a second interview for a defensive coordinator post.
According to Steve Wyche of NFL Media, Detroit Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant interviewed with the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday about their opening at defensive coordinator.
This is Pleasant’s second interview for a defensive coordinator post in quick succession, as the Flint native interviewed with the newly-hired Kevin O’Connell and the Minnesota Vikings earlier this week. Though Pleasant is not necessarily expected to be hired by the Vikings, with Ed Donatell the new favorite for the job, he’s in the mix for that job until a hire is official.
UPDATE, 3:20 p.m ET, 2/10/22: According to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Donatell will be hired as Vikings defensive coordinator.
Pleasant does not have any prior history with new Saints head coach Dennis Allen, who vacated the defensive coordinator post when he was hired to replace Sean Payton. But it’s possible Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn vouched for Pleasant to the Saints. Glenn was a finalist for the Saints head coaching job that went to Allen, and he is a former Saints’ assistant.
Pleasant, if not this cycle, is destined to land a defensive coordinator job at some point. In his first season with the Lions, many players in the secondary made strides or showed flashes, notably Tracy Walker, Amani Oruwariye, Jerry Jacobs, Ifeatu Melifonwu and AJ Parker. The Lions secondary was banged up this from the start this season, losing 2020 first round pick Jeff Okudah to an injury in Week 1 and missing others throughout, and Pleasant found ways to keep the secondary respectable. Oruwariye credited Pleasant with his new approach to film study heading into Week 13 against the Vikings.
Head coach Dan Campbell spoke highly of Pleasant during the preseason.
If the Lions can hold onto Pleasant, and with upgrades likely via free agency and/or the draft, the secondary stands to be much better next season. But Pleasant has joined Glenn in gaining notice from other teams, which is a testament to their good work and Campbell’s eye for talent as he has built his coaching staff.