Aubrey Pleasant

Rams Promote Aubrey Pleasant To Assistant Head Coach

Aubrey Pleasant was a candidate to be promoted to the Rams’ defensive coordinator position as the team replaced Raheem Morris. He did not land that gig, but he has nevertheless seen his importance to the organization acknowledged with a new title.

Pleasant – Los Angeles’ defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator – has been given the additional title of assistant head coach, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He adds that head coach Sean McVay‘s announcement of the promotion to the team was well received, a sign of how Pleasant is viewed in the organization.

The Wisconsin grad began coaching in 2010, one year after his playing career came to an end. Pleasant’s first college opportunity came at Michigan, and he spent the 2011 and ’12 campaigns with the Wolverines. That was followed by a jump to the NFL level, which saw him spend time in Cleveland and Washington before his first Rams stint. That tenure (from 2017-20) came with the title of cornerbacks coach.

Pleasant moved on to the Lions and Packers, working as an offensive consultant with Green Bay in 2022. He was brought back by the Rams last offseason, though, and he was a key figure on Morris’ defensive staff. The latter took the Falcons’ head coaching gig during this year’s hiring cycle, creating the Los Angeles DC vacancy. That post was ultimately filled when another internal candidate (linebackers coach Chris Shula) was promoted.

Pleasant spoke with the Rams prior to their decision to tap Shula for the coordinator gig. He was also connected to the Packers’ DC opening, an indication that he could be a strong coordinator candidate in the 2025 hiring cycle and beyond. Taking on his latest title could also help Pleasant’s future head coaching aspirations.

Rams Finalize 2024 Coaching Staff

The Rams were one of several teams forced to reconstruct their coaching staff this offseason. While it’s always a challenge to replace staff, the Rams aren’t doing it because they needed to fire anybody, they’re simply replacing coaches who moved on to bigger jobs. Head coach Sean McVay is doing what he’s done year after year, bringing in a new staff that is sure to flourish under his tutelage.

On offense, we were already aware of the hires of quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone to replace Zac Robinson, senior offensive assistant Jerry Schuplinski, and offensive assistant and pass game specialist Nate Scheelhaase, though the “offensive assistant” part of that title is new information.

In addition, since the departed Robinson had held the title of pass-game coordinator, that moniker has transferred to tight ends coach Nick Caley. Lastly, with offensive assistants K.J. Black and Nick Jones following Robinson and former defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to Atlanta, Los Angeles has brought in former Jets quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese as a new offensive assistant. Calabrese takes a step back after spending three years in his first NFL position coaching job.

The defensive side of the ball is where the most change will commence, since Morris departed to become the next head coach of the Falcons. We have already reported on Giff Smith‘s replacement of Eric Henderson as defensive line coach and run game coordinator and the hiring of former Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai as a senior defensive assistant, as well as the departure of assistant head coach Jimmy Lake, who left to become Morris’ defensive coordinator in Atlanta.

Los Angeles’ update informed us on some pending information for the rest of the defensive staff. First, we had heard that former Packers pass-game coordinator Greg Williams had interviewed for the Rams inside linebackers coaching job, and now we know that he has officially been hired for the role, replacing Chris Shula following his promotion to defensive coordinator. Formerly the secondary coach, Chris Beake‘s official title has been altered to safeties coach, and while assistant defensive line coach AC Carter interviewed for the position that went to Smith after Henderson’s exit, Carter will simply remain in his current role. Additionally, outside linebackers coach Joe Coniglio, defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant, and defensive assistant Mike Harris have all been retained by Shula in their current roles.

Lastly, on special teams, the Rams hired Chili Davis as assistant special teams coach to replace Jeremy Springer, who departed to become special teams coordinator in New England. Davis will take his first NFL job after coaching for the last 11 years in various college gigs. Most recently, he served as special teams coordinator at Florida A&M in 2022 before going to Manhattan to serve as Kansas State’s special teams quality control coach. Also, on the coaching staff, John Streicher has been brought on board to serve as game management coordinator. Streicher spent the last six seasons in Tennessee, most recently serving as the Titans director of football administration.

There you have it: the 2024 coaching staff for the Rams. McVay is certainly used to shuffling his staff at this point in his career in Los Angeles. He was able to rebound from a rough 2022 season to get back to the playoffs, and with this new staff, he’ll try to get back to the pinnacle of the sport after winning it all in 2021.

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

After a crowded carousel previously stopped, the 49ers opened their defensive coordinator position. Here is how the NFC champions’ search looks:

Updated 3-2-24 (10:00am CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

  • Gerald Alexander, safeties coach (Raiders): Interviewed 3/1
  • Daniel Bullocks, defensive backs coach (49ers): Interviewed 2/28
  • David Merritt, defensive backs coach (Chiefs): To interview
  • Nick Sorensen, defensive passing game specialist (49ers): Promoted
  • Brandon Staley, former head coach (Chargers): Interviewed

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Latest On Packers’ DC Vacancy

With Joe Barry unable to save his job, the Packers are now looking for their third defensive coordinator of the Matt LaFleur era. LaFleur has now canned both Barry and Mike Pettine during the 2020s.

The Packers nearly changed Ejiro Evero‘s career path in 2021, choosing Barry over the then-Rams defensive backs coach — who had worked with LaFleur on McVay’s staff in 2017. Then-Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard was believed to be LaFleur’s top choice at that point. While LaFleur may not be closing off the Sean McVay pipeline, one of the Rams leader’s better-known assistants will not be considered for the Packers job.

[RELATED: 2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Brandon Staley is not on Green Bay’s radar, according to’s Rob Demovsky. The first Chargers HC dismissed in-season since Kevin Gilbride in 1998, Staley has not been connected to any head coaching or defensive coordinator opening since that December firing. Staley rocketed to the HC radar in 2020, using the Rams’ DC post to reach that place. Previously, he had resided as outside linebackers coach for two teams — the Bears and Broncos — under Vic Fangio. The Fangio scheme’s present popularity aside, Staley has yet to receive an interview.

LaFleur also worked with Aubrey Pleasant back in 2017, during his season as Rams OC, and hired him following a Lions dismissal in 2022. Demovsky mentions the veteran staffer as a possible candidate. The team is also believed to have been impressed by Chris Harris in 2021; Harris, who spent this season as the Titans’ DBs coach, is back on the DC radar following the Titans’ firing of Mike Vrabel. Jerry Gray, who served as a Packers assistant from 2020-22, also could be a candidate,’s Jeremy Fowler adds. A Gray and Barry philosophical disagreement led the former out of town in 2023; Gray spent this season on the Falcons’ staff. With 2023 Atlanta DC Ryan Nielsen taking over in Jacksonville, it is possible Gray would follow.

The Packers are allowing defensive assistants to explore opportunities, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, but it is unclear if the team would allow lateral moves to take place at this point. It still looks like their defensive staff makeup will come down to what their next DC prefers, as should be expected.

Coaching Notes: Pleasant, Curry, Broncos

A defensive coordinator interviewee earlier this decade, Aubrey Pleasant was without a job midway through last season. The Lions fired the veteran assistant, leading to a Packers move. But the former Rams assistant is coming back to Los Angeles. The Rams are rehiring Pleasant to be their defensive backs coach and defensive pass-game coordinator, Field Yates of tweets. The sides have been talking about the job for about a month, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets.

Both the Saints and Vikings interviewed Pleasant for their DC positions in 2021, shortly after he had taken a job as the Lions’ secondary coach. But the Lions fired him in October. The Packers, who have ex-Rams staffer Joe Barry in place as DC, hired him as a consultant to close out the season. Pleasant, who has been in the NFL for 10 seasons, will return to a Rams organization that previously had him in place as its cornerbacks coach from 2017-20. In addition to Pleasant, the Rams are adding Mike Harris as their assistant DBs coach, Rodrigue adds (on Twitter). Harris spent the past two years as a Bears offensive assistant.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • The Broncos’ lone known offensive coordinator candidate thus far, Ronald Curry will not be moving. The Saints will retain their quarterbacks coach, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. Curry, a former Sean Payton hire, interviewed for both the Buccaneers and Broncos’ OC positions. As Denver will continue its search, Tampa Bay hired Dave Canales earlier this week. A former NFL wideout, Curry has been with the Saints since 2016.
  • While multiple former Payton assistants connected to a reunion will not be heading to Denver, former Saints special teams coach Mike Westhoff will meet with his former boss tweeted about his upcoming Broncos meeting. Westhoff, 75, has been retired since 2019 but was rumored to be a candidate to join Payton in Denver. He worked for the Saints from 2017-18 but enjoyed long tenures (with the Dolphins and Jets) previously. In addition to former Saints coaches, Payton has been connected to coaches out of the league. Rex Ryan is favored to be the next Broncos DC, though interviews are ongoing, and Mike Zimmer has surfaced as a possible Broncos assistant option.
  • Canales will bring a Seahawks assistant to Tampa. The Bucs are hiring Brad Idzik to be their wide receivers coach, John Schneider said during a radio interview (via’s John Boyle, on Twitter). Idzik previously worked as the Seahawks’ assistant wideouts coach. This marks a return trip for Idzik, who is the son of former Bucs front office bastion (and ex-Jets GM) John Idzik. The younger Idzik had been with the Seahawks since 2019.
  • The Raiders will greenlight a reunion as well, hiring Matt Lombardi to be their assistant wide receivers coach, according to’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Matt Lombardi is the younger brother of Raiders OC Mick Lombardi and the son of former Raiders exec (and Browns GM) Michael Lombardi. Matt Lombardi spent the past three years with the Panthers, being one of Matt Rhule‘s hires.
  • Staying with the family theme, the Giants have added Brian Daboll‘s son to their staff. Christian Daboll will work as an offensive assistant in New York, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News tweets. Christian Daboll had previously worked as a student assistant at Penn State. Although the Giants have the younger Daboll listed as a staff member, they have not announced the hire.

Packers Hire Aubrey Pleasant

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.

Lions Fire Aubrey Pleasant

In the aftermath of yet another underwhelming defensive performance, the Lions have made a change on the sidelines. Detroit has fired secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant, as detailed by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Head coach Dan Campbell said safeties coach Brian Duker will take over in his place.

The move comes one day after Detroit lost 31-27 to the Dolphins, adding further to their stark contrast of effectiveness on offense (ranking top-five in the league in yards, and top-ten in scoring) and ineffectiveness on the other side of the ball (last in both total and scoring defense).

Pleasant joined the Lions just last winter, having previously worked as the cornerbacks coach of the Rams for four years. He had also spent time with Washington and Cleveland prior to that. Expectations were high for him, given his track record from Los Angeles, but the Lions’ secondary has struggled mightily due to injuries and inconsistent play throughout the season. The unit has surrendered an average of 266 yards per game through the air, and notched just two interceptions.

One bright spot has been Jeff Okudah‘s return from a torn Achilles. The No. 3 pick in 2020 has been healthy for all seven games this season, occupying a full-time starting role along the way. Pleasant was credited for his role in bringing Okudah back to the form he was drafted to show, but with the team sitting at 1-6, some form of change was considered inevitable.

“I think Aubrey’s a hell of a coach,” Campbell said when speaking to the media about the move (Twitter link via Birkett). “It was a tough decision, but we’re in a production-based business and after seven weeks I felt like this change needed to be made.”

Despite a relative lack of experience, Pleasant has been a name on the DC radar for years now. He interviewed with the Bengals for that position before his move to the Rams. After his performance last year in Detroit, he also drew interest from the Vikings and Saints this winter. As a result, he is unlikely to be out of work for long, while the Lions will look for improvement on the backend of their defense.

Saints Interview Michael Wilhoite For DC

The search for a new defensive coordinator continues in New Orleans. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Saints have interviewed Michael Wilhoite for the vacancy (Twitter link). 

[Related: Saints Hire Dennis Allen As Head Coach]

Wilhoite, 35, had a seven-year NFL career, including six with the 49ers. That stretch included an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII, and set up his coaching career, which began two years after his retirement. He served as a special teams assistant with the Saints in 2019; the following year, he assisted the defensive staff, so there is a degree of familiarity between him and the team. Wilhoite spent the 2021 campaign as the linebackers coach for the Chargers.

The news comes one week after longtime DC Dennis Allen was, as expected, chosen as the successor to Sean Payton. While the team has already made some additions to the offensive staff, the OC role is seen as being more of a priority, given Allen’s background. Still, the team is working to fill the position, having also met with Lions defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant last week. The former Rams assistant has been generating DC interest with his work dating back to 2017 in particular.

While Allen will surely be heavily involved in the Saints’ defense, the team is getting closer to hiring his replacement.

Saints Interview Aubrey Pleasant For DC

Aubrey Pleasant continues to generate interest on the defensive coordinator market. After interviewing for the Vikings’ DC post, Pleasant met with the Saints about their new vacancy Wednesday, Steve Wyche of tweets.

The Lions hired Pleasant as their defensive backs coach last year, but the former Rams cornerbacks coach has been on the DC radar for a bit. The Bengals interviewed him for the job that went to Lou Anarumo in 2019. Pleasant is the first name connected to New Orleans’ new DC vacancy.

Dennis Allen rising from his DC post to replace Sean Payton left a void, and the Saints are moving quickly to fill their staff. They added Doug Marrone on Wednesday and are planning to move longtime offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael to a new position. While New Orleans’ OC job now takes on greater importance, Allen’s presence minimizes the Saints’ DC post to some degree.

The Vikings appear to be zeroing in on Ed Donatell for their DC position, though Pleasant did work with expected Minnesota HC Kevin O’Connell with the Rams last season. Pleasant was the Rams’ corners coach during Sean McVay‘s first four Los Angeles seasons; that was the young assistant’s first position coaching gig.

Vikings Interview Anthony Weaver For DC

The Vikings’ search for a new defensive coordinator continues. The latest candidate to meet with the team is Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link).

[Related: Vikings Request Interview With Lions’ Aubrey Pleasant]

Weaver represents the second name to be linked to the opening since is was reported that Mike Pettine could be the favorite for the position. Even if the latter does ultimately land the job, Minnesota is at least doing its due diligence.

Weaver, 41, has already conducted interviews twice for DC roles lately. One was with the Ravens, where he spent the beginning of his playing career, along with the 2021 season as the team’s d-line coach and running game coordinator. The other was with the Broncos. Having started coaching only two years after his playing days were over, Weaver has been on NFL sidelines since 2012. While his most frequent role has been a position coach with defensive linemen, he does have one year of experience (Houston, in 2020) as a DC.

With multiple options to consider, the Vikings should ultimately end up with either a defensive signal-caller who has garnered plenty of interest recently, or one with a plethora of experience holding the role. Either way, new head coach Kevin O’Connell is likely to have his first DC in place sooner rather than later.