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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Zach Kruse

Aubrey Pleasant provides candidate to replace Jerry Gray on Packers defensive staff

The Green Bay Packers are in need of a new defensive backs coach after Jerry Gray – who held the title for three years on Matt LaFleur’s staff – left Green Bay for a new position with the Atlanta Falcons. The move officially happened Tuesday.

Could Aubrey Pleasant provide an obvious internal candidate?

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LaFleur and the Packers brought Pleasant on the staff as an offensive consultant to end the 2022 season, believing his knowledge of the defensive side – and in the secondary, in particular – could help the Packers take a step forward down the stretch.

It’s certainly possible LaFleur will now turn to Pleasant to replace Gray as one of his top defensive assistants under coordinator Joe Barry.

The former Badger has the connection and the experience.

Pleasant played in the secondary at the University of Wisconsin and has experience coaching defensive backs at both the college and NFL levels. Between 2017 and 2020, Pleasant coached cornerbacks for the Los Angeles Rams. In 2021 and parts of 2022, he was the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator for the Detroit Lions. While in Washington as a quality control assistant, he worked directly under respected secondary coaches Raheem Morris and Perry Fewell.

More importantly, Pleasant’s path through Los Angeles meant working with both LaFleur and Barry as a member of Sean McVay’s staff with the Rams.

Other internal candidates to replace Gray include Ryan Downard, who spent last season coaching safeties after three seasons as the assistant defensive backs coach, and Justin Hood, who has been a defensive quality control assistant for two seasons in Green Bay after spending two years as the defensive backs coach at Kent State.

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