A solemn Dan Campbell met the media shortly after the Detroit Lions announced that the team fired defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant. After praising Pleasant as “a hell of a coach” and wishing him well outside Detroit, Campbell fielded some questions.
The obvious one came first: why Pleasant and why now?
Campbell tried to preemptively answer it.
“We’re in a production-based business and after seven weeks I felt like this change needed to be made,” the head coach stated.
“Something needed to change,” Campbell later added noting that he wanted “a different messenger” to lead and instruct the defensive backs.
As for the players, it’s clear Campbell is still bullish on his personnel.
“I still believe in the guys we have. I think we have I know what we have on the back end and I think they’re good enough to help us compete and win,” Campbell said of his injury-riddled secondary.
That statement reaffirms the notion that Campbell and GM Brad Holmes believe the coaching was more of an issue than the players not executing. A similar scenario played out last season when the club relieved offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn from his duties in-season.
The move with Lynn a year ago worked out quite favorably for Campbell and the Lions offense. Here’s hoping that a similar bounce upward comes to the secondary on the NFL’s worst defense with the move to fire Pleasant.