With the Green Bay Packers trying to jump-start their struggling offense in recent weeks, the team has taken an unusual approach by making a mid-season coaching hire. Two weeks ago, the Detroit Lions fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant amid their defense’s abysmal performance over the first several weeks of the season. The Packers have recnetly brought him aboard as a member of the coaching staff, adding his experienced voice last week.
Although Pleasant has his own ties to the state of Wisconsin — he played safety for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2005 to 2008 — his connection to the current Packers coaching staff run just as deeply. Therefore, his joining up with Matt LaFleur and Joe Barry actually should not come as much of a surprise.
Pleasant was an offensive assistant in 2013 in Washington, which saw him overlap with LaFleur, who was that football team’s quarterbacks coach that season. The two then worked together again in 2017, when Pleasant was hired as cornerbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams and LaFleur served as that team’s offensive coordinator. Pleasant’s tenure with the Rams from 2017 to 2020 also overlapped with Barry, who spent those four seasons as the Rams’ assistant head coach and linebackers coach.
Having a defensive coach work with the offense is the reverse of the Packers’ plan with the other analyst on their staff, John Donovan. His coaching background is primarily on the offensive side, but he is currently working with the Packers’ defensive coaches.