IRVINE — Expectations rose around Aaron Donald when the NFL’s best defensive lineman sat in the Gatorade tub and shared a laugh with his teammates before the practice of the Rams’ first training camp in 2021 on Wednesday. rice field.
“AD, come here and sit down, guy!” Shouted one of a group of fans 25 yards away, some wearing Donald’s 99th jersey. “I want a photo!”
“You are not allowed to come over there!” Donald was kind enough to yell.
Returning to Rams’ old pre-season base at the University of California, Irvine, fans were filling the barriers around the two driving ranges, which was the beginning of a training camp the way Donald remembered.
This was the way before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team to privacy their training facilities during the regular season last summer.
Some points were still different.
As Donald explained to the group of fans, player-fan interaction for autographs and selfies was not allowed.
And in the field, Donald was experiencing something else in a series of changes.
For one thing, he celebrated his 30th birthday in May. And it turns out that the 2017, 2018, and 2020 NFL Defensive Players of the Year are unaffected by age devastation.
“I’m old. I feel it. The pain and pain lasts a little longer,” Donald said after practice.
Then there’s a new round of new faces this year in a defensive chat.
But if you don’t adapt, you can’t be Aaron Donald.
Donald’s Defensive Line Wingman, Michael Brockers, has been traded to Lions for seven years. But Donald is pleased that Ashon Robinson has joined him and Sebastian Joseph Day.
“We will definitely miss Brock,” said Donald. “I got used to him being there. That would be a big blank for us. But A’Shawn will step up and play for us.”
Rams lost John Johnson’s safety to Browns. On Wednesday, they had a second year safety Jordan Fuller putting a green dot on their helmet. This means he is a defensive signaler on behalf of Johnson. Donald appreciates Fuller.
“This year we’re playing a more leadership role for him. He’s feeling more pressure and a little more pressure on his shoulders, but I think he can handle that,” Donald said of Fuller. rice field. “I respect what he did last year. He got it (green dot) himself because he did it on the soccer field.”
After Brandon Staley was hired as the Chargers head coach, there is a new defense coordinator, Raheem Morris. Donald is excited about Morris.
“I enjoyed working with someone who was so energetic,” Donald said of Morris. “He motivates us, but makes us laugh.”
Last year’s top-ranked defense will replace at least four starters before the season opener on September 12 and face the Bears at SoFi Stadium.
But Donald’s view remains the same the more changes there are.
“I feel the same as last year,” he said. “There were a lot of young guys who needed to step up. We didn’t know what to expect. And at the end of the year we had the best defense in the National Football League.
“Now more and more young guys need to step up and play big. I believe they can do it. Build on last year and do it much better can do.”
This is the first time Donald has spoken to a LA reporter since he was falsely accused of assault in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Videotapes show that Donald is playing the role of a peacemaker in violence outside the party. The accuser resigned.
On Wednesday, Donald said the incident was behind him.
“I was just training,” Donald said of the off-season in Pittsburgh. “I’m not really worried about anything else. I was training and preparing for the next season. I wasn’t too worried about anything else.
“I’m just training and spending time with my kids and family, so I’m not going to talk about it.”
He looked happy to be in the field. It was 84 degrees in Irvine. With players wearing helmets, jerseys and shorts, Donald was the only lineman in long sleeves and leggings.
“He’s not the only guy to turn it over on Sunday,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said of Donald. “He appears in practice. He had something great today.”
Donald said: A couple of fans screaming your name. It was good. Whenever I go back to football, that’s a good thing. ”
Sean McVay head coach said he missed practice because aggressive line coach Kevin Carbury tested positive for COVID-19. Carberry is vaccinated and is said to have no symptoms. Like the rookie wide receiver Tutuatwell, whose positive test was announced on Monday, Carberry can return to practice after undergoing two negative tests that are more than 24 hours apart. … The player of the day was Safety Terrell Burgess for the second year after returning from ankle surgery in October 2020. Burgess intercepted John Wolford’s pass and split Stafford’s pass. … Playing that day was a long way from Stafford to the wide open DeSean Jackson. McBay trusted quarterbacks, receivers, and blown-out coverage.
Rams’ Aaron Donald is tackling more changes – Press Enterprise Source link Rams’ Aaron Donald is tackling more changes – Press Enterprise