Detroit Lions fire DB coach Aubrey Pleasant
The Lions secondary has been one of the worst units in football this season. Detroit currently ranks last in yards per attempt (8.4), passer rating (108.5) and completion percentage (69.3%).
The turning point seems to have been Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Not only did Tua Tagovailoa complete 80 percent of his passes for 384 yards, but according to Campbell after the game, the secondary failed to execute the game plan, which needed to be more physical with the talented receiving corps of Miami.
“We didn’t hit them at the line. That was part of the game plan,” Campbell said. “We didn’t interrupt. We didn’t interrupt, and when you let them do that and get on your defense, we didn’t want to make it a track meet. And it was a track meet.”
“It just didn’t work out for us in that game plan designed for these guys.”
Pleasant was hired last year as part of the new coaching regime. He previously spent four seasons with the Los Angels Rams as the team’s cornerbacks coach. In Detroit, he could certainly be credited with helping Jeff Okudah weather the storm of his injury and return to a good level of play. However, the play of Amani Oruwariye and AJ Parker has regressed this season.
That said, Pleasant was also dealt a heavy hand by injuries and a lack of resources. In addition to Okudah’s Achilles injury, Ifeatu Melifonwu has been routinely injured, Tracy Walker is out for the season with an Achilles tear, Jerry Jacobs tore his ACL last year, Saivion Smith suffered a serious neck injury, all while general manager Brad. Holmes mostly ignored the defensive backfield during free agency and the draft.
It’s a sudden fall for Pleasant, who had received high praise from players for their ability to connect and communicate with him. He even scored interviews for the saints i vikings defensive coordinator jobs in February.
At this point, it’s unclear who will take over for Pleasant, but Lions safeties coach Brian Duker seems like a likely candidate.
UPDATE: Campbell confirmed that Duker will take over the defensive back room, with the help of defensive quality control coach Addison Lynch.
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