The Bengals have requested permission to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant for their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to Mike Jones of USA Today (Twitter link). Pleasant worked with new Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor in Los Angeles from 2017-18.
Pleasant is the first candidate linked to the Bengals’ DC job to not come with previous head coaching experience. Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan is the latest veteran coach tied to Cincinnati, while the Bengals have also expressed varying levels of interest in Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, and former Bears head coach John Fox. Allen has since received an extension from New Orleans, while Del Rio has bowed out of the running.
Pleasant, then, would give the Bengals a different vibe on the defensive side of the ball, and would entail Cincinnati turning over both its offense and defense to 30-somethings. A former collegiate coach at Michigan, Pleasant worked for the Browns and Redskins before joining the Rams in 2017.
Working under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Pleasant helped lead the Rams to top-10 finishes in defensive passing DVOA in both 2017 and 2018. Two of Pleasant’s cornerbacks — Nickell Robey-Coleman and Aqib Talib — ranked among Pro Football Focus‘ top-20 CBs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.