One assistant coach affected by 2022’s in-season firings has quickly found a new employer. Former Lions assistant Aubrey Pleasant is joining the Packers’ staff, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (Twitter link). The move has since been confirmed.
Pleasant was fired by Detroit two weeks ago, as a reaction to the Lions’ ongoing defensive struggles. The team still ranks last in the league in points and yards allowed, but changes had been expected for some time leading up to the decision. The move left Pleasant – who had served as Detroit’s secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator – free to find a new NFL home.
That came via an intra-division change of scenery. Demovsky notes that Pleasant actually began working with the Packers’ staff last week, as he reunited with head coach Matt LaFleur. The pair worked together both in Washington and with the Rams. Pleasant will be working in a consultant role on the offensive side of the ball, applying the experience garnered from his defensive background, Demovsky tweets.
Prior to this season’s poor performance, Pleasant had been a relatively hot name on the defensive coordinator radar, interviewing for the Bengals’ DC post, and also those of the Vikings and Saints this past offseason. His dismissal after only one full year with the Lions will likely delay his next opportunity for such a role, but this Packers stint could prove useful as well.
Interestingly, this hire comes just one week after LaFleur stated that no coaching changes were coming for the Packers (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman). Green Bay sat at 3-6 at the time, and is still a distant second to the Vikings in the NFC North even after yesterday’s overtime win over the Cowboys. The team’s struggles on offense in particular have drawn criticism and led to questions about a significant shakeup of some kind taking place. Instead, the Packers will move forward with the status quo at the skill positions and a new voice amongst the team’s coaching staff.