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Bengals get permission to interview Rams’ Aubrey Pleasant

Zac Taylor

Zac Taylor is looking at his old team to help turn around his new one. The Cincinnati Bengals and their rookie coach have been granted permission to speak with Los Angeles Rams defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant about the team’s vacancy at defensive coordinator, per The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore.

Pleasant joined Los Angeles’ coaching staff in 2017, the same season Taylor was hired away from the University of Cincinnati as an assistance wide receivers coach. Taylor was promoted to quarterbacks coach last season, and after helping Jared Goff establish himself as one of the league’s premier young quarterbacks, was named head coach of the Bengals the day after Los Angeles lost Super Bowl 53 13-3 to the New England Patriots.

The 31-year-old Pleasant got his first NFL coaching job in 2012, occupying the dual roles of offensive staffer and head coach intern for the Cleveland Browns. He moved onto the Washington Redskins from there, transitioning to the defensive side of the ball in 2014, when he began working exclusively with the team’s defensive backs.

The Rams’ brash, talented secondary seemed a perfect fit for Pleasant, who’s known for his infinite energy, relentless enthusiasm, and keen attention to detail. Under his guidance, Los Angeles picked off 18 passes last season, third-most in the NFL.

“Just a phenomenal teacher,” Nickell Robey-Coleman told The Athletic of Pleasant in September. “And when I say phenomenal, I mean he’s a professor. He’s really a professor of the game. Before he was a coach, he was a teacher. And now we have a teacher as a coach.”

Cincinnati, 6-10 last season, allowed more passing yards than any team in football.