The Detroit Lions secondary is going to be thin again on Sunday, but defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant is embracing the challenge.
The Detroit Lions secondary was thinned by the absences of multiple players on the COVID-19 list in Week 14. Add in injuries that have taken guys out of the mix practically right off the bat this season, and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant has been challenged to coach up his pupils.
Despite the NFL changing its COVID protocols to allow quicker returns for players, head coach Dan Campbell said the Lions are unlikely to get anyone back off the virus list for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Two of last week’s callups to the active roster to fill voids in the secondary, cornerbacks Nickell Robey-Coleman and Corey Ballentine, landed on the COVID list this week. That led to the Lions claiming two defensive backs (safety Brady Breeze and cornerback Saivion Smith) off waivers this week, and they added cornerbacks Shakur Brown and Chris Williamson to the practice squad.
Aubrey Pleasant embracing challenge coaching up thin Lions secondary
Via Benjamin Raven of MLive, Pleasant is embracing the challenge and he won’t hear excuses attached to coaching a thin Lions’ secondary.
I use the phrase ‘That’s why they call you coach.’ This is my job, this is my profession,” Pleasant said. “I take these challenges personally…..I know, at the end of the day, my job is really evaluated by the way that my guys play and the amount of plays they’re able to make. At the end of the day, no matter who is out there putting on a Detroit Lions helmet and uniform, if you play in the defensive backfield, the standard is the standard for me.”
The Lions are allowing a league-worst 7.4 net yards per pass attempt this season, and they’re no better than middle of the pack in many other pass defense metrics. But Pleasant won’t hear any excuses attached to coaching a group that has being thinned by injuries or the virus on practically a weekly basis, or the standard he holds them to.