Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald showed off his physical appearance in front of reporters and cameramen in UC Irvine gym, California. Entering his 30s, Donald admitted that it is easier to work his muscles out than in his younger days.
“I think it’s a little easier now,” he said to Los Angeles Times, “Because I kind of grew into my body, understand my body and understand what I can do and can’t do.”
The Rams will play Buffalo Bills in this season’s opener. They still have four more workouts before the game and Donald said that he would use the remaining time to improve his physicality even stronger.
“Learning, studying myself, and just trying to find ways to improve anyway I can,” he said.
Contract extension with Rams
Donald also addressed his plan to retire but the Rams responded by giving him a contract extension in June. The deal included a $65 million in guarantees the next two seasons and $95 million through 2024, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history.
Second-year defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, revealed the secret behind Donald’s strategy when it comes to talking about contracts.
“He is all business all the time until he decides to let it off a little bit,” Morris said. “And when he lets it off, that’s when you know you got him and that’s when you know he’s in his best spot that he could possibly be.”
Apart from his physicality, Donald also has a special technique. In a training session with the Rams, Donald put his hand on the neck of rookie defensive line counterpart Elijah Garcia. This drew divided responses from NFL fans who watched the scene on NFL Network.
“It’s a technique. Run scoot,” Donald explained before going on to re-enact the drill.
”I’m closing my ‘A’ gap. This is my ‘B’ gap. I’m closing that. That’s the guard, I’m closing that ‘A’ gap. So they can’t cut back, they can’t cut to the ‘A’ gap, they gotta cut to me.”
Rams injury issue
Prior to the season-opening game, the Rams have an injury issue with their quarterback Matthew Stafford. The 34-year-old player experienced pain in his elbow, something that, according to Rams coach Sean McVay, was “unusual.”
Due to this injury, Stafford trained individually on his throwing and did some 7-on-7 drills on Thursday, but he is not included in the team reps.
McVay said that he was expecting Stafford to do just that at the moment. The Rams’ athletic training staff has tried something during the offseason in order to reduce the pain in Stafford’s elbow.
“Could he do it? Yes,” McVay said. “Is that the best thing? We didn’t think so. And I think I’ve got a responsibility to try to make decisions that are in the best alignment using medical experts and talking with Matthew.”
“And so all of those things combined led to where we’re at right now. And it is an ever-evolving process, but we are really taking over these next couple weeks, seeing how they go,” he continued.