Former Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant hired by division rival

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Aubrey Pleasant was fired as Detroit Lions defensive backs coach a couple weeks ago, but he has landed a new role quickly with a division rival.

After another poor defensive showing against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8, and questions about the game plan against Dolphins receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle not being followed, Aubrey Pleasant was fired as Detroit Lions defensive backs coach.

Scapegoat or not, the Lions are 2-0 since then and have generally defended the pass better. So it appeared a change was needed.

But Pleasant has landed a new job pretty quickly. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the former Lions coach has been hired by the Green Bay Packers.

Pleasant has history with Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, as the two were on the coaching staff together in Washington (2013) and with the Los Angeles Rams (2017) . Demovsky added, via sources, that Pleasant will work with LaFleur and the offense to offer perspective from the other side of the ball.

Aubrey Pleasant being fired by Lions just a bump in the road for him

Pleasant was unemployed for basically a week before joining the Packers. His ongoing status as a rising star in coaching circles remains basically unabated. On Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, Pleasant’s first game on the offensive staff for whatever it’s worth (perhaps a lot), the Packers scored a season-high 31 points.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell was complementary of Pleasant after the decision to fire him, and Jeff Okudah noted the impact Pleasant has had on his career.

"I still believe he’s a hell of a coach,” Campbell said. “It’s just sometimes things don’t work out, and absolutely I do. I see him getting another opportunity, and I see him continuing to grow and climb again at some point, somewhere. I do.”"

Where Pleasant lands next, for 2023, will be interesting to watch. Maybe he’s a defensive backs coach again. Or maybe someone notes what he had to work with in Detroit before being fired and hires him as a defensive coordinator.

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