Lions assistant coach explains why Aaron Donald is the best cornerback ever

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
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A cornerback’s best friend is a pass rush, and Lions secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant spent the last four years with one of the best pass rushers of all time.

Pleasant, who for the last four years was the cornerbacks coach of the Rams, says that defensive tackle Aaron Donald did more to help the Rams’ cornerbacks than anyone else. As Pleasant sees it, the relentless pressure Donald put on opposing quarterbacks was an enormous boost to the Rams’ cornerbacks.

“I joke and tell people that the greatest corner I’ve ever played with is Aaron Donald,” Pleasant said, via the Detroit Free Press. “In order to be a successful football team, things have to marry and they have to collaborate. And I think the pass rush, as well as the ability to play sticky coverage no matter what your philosophy is, I think they go hand in hand and I think when those things work together, it makes it very difficult for opposing offense.”

Unfortunately for the Lions, they don’t have an Aaron Donald-like pass rusher. Few teams do.

24 responses to “Lions assistant coach explains why Aaron Donald is the best cornerback ever

  1. Lions passed on Donald for a TE that can’t catch and can’t block. I will never forget that.

  2. Guessing I wasn’t the only one who was confused. Might be a cornerback’s best friend, but that doesn’t make him a DB.

  3. He being creative, but he’s making his point. If you’ve ever played DB, you understand what he’s talking about.

  4. Well if we’re calling pass rushers great corners, then both Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White are ahead of Donald.

  5. THe best teams…the ones that win superbowls, have the top Offensive Lines and Defensive Lines.

    Great QBs, WRs and RBs don’t mean much without a great O-Line to give them time to make holes for them to run. THe same goes for the D-Line. Without a great D-Line, the opposing team can score a lot.

    Looat the last superbowl and what happened to the great Mahomes when he had a poor O-Line (injuries). Mahomes ran for his life the entire game.

  6. Almost every sb winner had one thing in common: very good offenses, defenses,special teams and kicking. No area lacking. all teams that came close to being there had at least one or more lacking areas.

  7. radar8 says:
    May 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm
    THe best teams…the ones that win superbowls, have the top Offensive Lines and Defensive Lines.

    Great QBs, WRs and RBs don’t mean much without a great O-Line to give them time to make holes for them to run. THe same goes for the D-Line. Without a great D-Line, the opposing team can score a lot.

    ————

    This is all true. But try setting up a team with a great d-line and terrible corners. The results are trash.

  8. The best teams have great lines, but I never said that the other players could be “terrible”.

    Having a great O-line and a great D-line are necessary to win superbowls, but the other players need to be good. Teams can win it all with some weaknesses as long as they have great lines.

  9. He said “I’ve ever played with.” Not “ever.” There’s a bit of a difference there…

  10. radar8 says:
    May 23, 2021 at 4:30 pm
    The best teams have great lines, but I never said that the other players could be “terrible”.

    ————-

    This is all true. 😉

    But you did say the skill positions “don’t mean much.”

    Sorry, but they do mean much. They really do.

  11. Also, I implore you to look at my screen name. I totally get the value of the big boys in the trenches and I’m basically with you.

    But please. Don’t say the skill positions “don’t mean much.”

    I’ve rooted for team after team, year after year, where that’s where the emphasis went, and the mediocre skill position guys dragged the whole affair down and seasons ended in January while we sent elite linemen to the pro bowl.

    Skill positions do “mean much.”

  12. I should have said “don’t mean AS much. Of course they are important.

    I think that we agree and are down to nitpicking….not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉

  13. If you’ve ever played DB, you understand what he’s talking about.

    ——————————————————————

    Yeah no, not really. Rams only had a good pass defense once Jalen Ramsey came along.

  14. Like most Lions fans I want to throw myself down a well when I think we passed on him to take a TE with the drops and an overly inflated opinion of his own importance to an offensive scheme.
    The coach’s point is a little hyperbolic but as other posters have said and I sincerely agree. When you have someone like him, Lawrence Taylor, Derek Thomas, Jevon Kearse the freak for a few years and many more, they instill a level oh bleep in an O line or QB that makes the DBs an afterthought until they survive the guy trying to rip their head off. So the point is sound D Lines make CBs job easier. Not sure that makes them better though even if the stats may imply so.

  15. bhm12 says:
    May 23, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    Lions passed on Donald for a TE that can’t catch and can’t block. I will never forget that.

    *********************************************************

    In 2007 the Raiders passed on Calvin Johnson for blimpo JaMeatball Russell. 14 years later I am still dying.

  16. I can relate a story to this. Once Mike Mac of the Packers was asked about his corners and safeties lack of overall talent and he said basically, you dont need good players on pass defense if you have a pass rush. Since there is no time to accurately pass the defenders have less to do. Ya that works.

  17. Hats off to Campbell and Holmes for what they have done thus far! Stafford trade was brialliant it could turn out to be even more brilliant if Goff plays above average still has trade value and the lions move him in 2 years and drafting their QB of the future. 2024 is the year we should expect to make alot of noise. If you think the team is soooooo horrible its really not that bad. On defense over the next two years we need a safety to pair with Walker as Harris looks like a bust thus far. The corners will be fine thats a position that just takes time which time we have. LBers you got 2 years or two more drafts to overhaul that position group. Same with the Dline 2 years to overhaul that even more Brockers was the stop gap. On offense you need a QB for the future which they will get. You need a couple WR which they will get and they already got their slot guy in Amon Ra. Maybe a TE 2 and a guard if Big V don’t pan out maybe Stenberg makes big improvements to his pass blocking and doesn’t become a bust. The game is won in the trenches, but also with roster depth its any given Sunday always and its the next man up so depth is huge. With Holmes being the savy guy he is he can put us on the map big time by 2024 and 2025 should be a contender. The next couple years won’t be as painful if we remember whats coming in 2024 or 2025!

  18. The defense will be much improved this year which isn’t hard to do. Instead of going after the QB with only 3 and relying on coverage sacks they will be going after the QB with 5 guys. That alone changes things. The fact they’re better positioned to stop the run now at least on paper should translate too. If they can be low low 20’s in total defense or crack the teens thats a major improvement for us as a team. On offense its a no brainer Holmes positioned this team to pound the rock make teams inch closer and closer then hit them with big plays in the pass game with the speed we’ve aquired. His theory works and makes sense its what the Chiefs do kill ya with speed. However they have Tyreke Hill and we have Williams and Perriman so that theory will be definitely put to the test. Even if one of those guys pan out and prove to be our reliable number 2 down the road the briliance of Holmes pays off again. If it doesn’t no big deal as we will draft or make moves to give our QB better options. 2 more years is a ton of time to round out this team the rest of the way!

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