It’s no secret that Dan Campbell assembled a Voltron-Esque coaching staff for the Detroit Lions. Just look at the names.

Duce Staley, Anthony Lynn, Aaron Glenn, Dom Capers, and Antwaan Randle-El. All of those men have earned a reputation around the NFL for being good coaches and coordinators. However, Flint-native Aubrey Pleasant belongs in that same conversation.

The Lions brought Pleasant “home” in January, hiring him as the defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator, poaching him from the LA Rams. While his hiring didn’t garner the recognition as the names mentioned, it doesn’t mean it was any less significant.

Last season, Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked each teams’ secondary, giving the Rams the highest grade. Pleasant receives credit for that, as he helped develop Troy Hill, Darious Williams, and former Rams star Marcus Peters. Even Jalen Ramsey praises Pleasant’s coaching, a player many already viewed him as the league’s top cornerback.

On that same list, PFF ranked the Lions’ secondary as the league’s worst. Not only that, PFF said the Lions’ secondary received their lowest ranking in history. Now that’s pretty steep. Luckily for the Lions, Pleasant is now in Motown.

Detroit Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant.
Detroit Lions defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant coaching the secondary during the Day 2 of training camp. Photo credit: Kory Woods/Woodward Sports

Despite players not practicing in pads, Aubrey Pleasant’s coaching is on clear display.

Thursday morning kicked off Day 2 of the Detroit Lions’ training camp, and he stuck out like a sore thumb all practice. He was overly vocal for the second straight day, sometimes incredibly intense while coaching the secondary.

It began with Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye.

The constructive criticism he delivered to both during drills was blunt. He wanted more. He spent extra time with them, working on technique, footwork, and how to move in coverage. Pleasant didn’t mince words with them. To both players’ credit, they responded not only in drills with the secondary but also during 11-on-11s as well.

And as quickly as Pleasant gave his criticism, he was just as quick to praise both players. After practice, Okudah detailed the importance of Pleasant’s coaching.

“I think it’s benefited me greatly,” Okudah told reporters after practice. “Before training camp, I [just] sent him a text, thanking him for the work he’s put in with me throughout the course of 2021.”

“I’ve seen the improvements already, so just having him by my side, having Coach AG (Aaron Glenn) by my side, I think that’s been great for me as well as the whole position group.”

Safety Dean Marlowe echoed Okudah’s sentiments.

“He’s always coaching,” said Marlowe after practice. “Meetings are over at the end of the night, [and] he’s still coaching.”

“He wants the last guy on the roster who doesn’t make the team, to go somewhere else and get paid. That’s his mindset. That’s what he wants us to do. From the top man on the roster to the bottom man on the roster, he wants to coach everybody’s butt off and bring out the best in everybody.”

And the players want to get better also.

They didn’t sulk or pout after Pleasant’s tough coaching. Instead, there was accountability. Several players spoke to each other about how they could’ve completed their drills differently to appease their position coach.

For these reasons, Aubrey Pleasant will be a vital piece all season long in developing the Detroit Lions’ secondary.

Aside from his hard-nosed coaching style, his players appear to genuinely enjoy him, which could prove to be significant this season.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

One Comment

  1. […] was the LA Rams, where he played three seasons with Jared Goff and Michael Brockers. Additionally, Aubrey Pleasant coached him during that time. And last season, he played with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Duce […]

Leave A Comment

By Published On: July 29th, 2021Categories: NFL

Detroit’s First All Digital Sports Network!

Listen to Your Favorite Shows LIVE each and every weekday. Download the Woodward Sports App Today!