According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Los Angeles Rams have hired Aubrey Pleasant — a mid-season hire by the 2022 Green Bay Packers — as their next defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator. Pleasant fills a role that was held in 2022 by Chris Shula, who previously had spent five seasons working with the Rams’ linebackers.
Pleasant, who had worked with both Rams head coach Sean McVay and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur as Los Angeles’ cornerbacks coach, was relieved of his duties as the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator of the Detroit Lions in October of 2022. At the time, the Lions’ secondary was struggling and Detroit had a record of 1-6 on the season. After his release, the Lions went on an 8-2 run that ended with a Week 18 Sunday Night Football win that knocked the Packers out of playoff contention.
Following his release from Detroit, Pleasant was hired by LaFleur as an offensive consultant that focused on reverse-engineering defenses for the team. It’s worth noting that Green Bay’s passing offense performed much better in the second half of the season than in the first half, in part due to the breakout performance of rookie second-round receiver Christian Watson.
At the moment, the Packers technically still have to fill their defensive backs coach vacancy, though, it has been reported that former Arizona Cardinals cornerbacks coach Greg Williams is expected to be hired in that role. The opening was caused when defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Jerry Gray — whose contract with Green Bay had expired — was hired as the assistant head coach of the Atlanta Falcons following an interview request to become Atlanta’s defensive coordinator, a job that ultimately went to New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen.
The hiring of Williams has yet to be officially announced as of February 16th, though, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported last week that his title is expected to be “cornerbacks coach/pass game coordinator.” Ryan Downard, who was hired in 2022 as a safeties coach, remains on the roster as the team’s other defensive backs coach. 2022 marked the Packers’ first season since 2017 in which coaching duties for the cornerback and safety units were split between multiple staffers.