by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA — Recently rated the best defensive player in the NFL, the Rams defensive tackle has grinded his way into being ready for an even better 2020 season in Los Angeles. The former two-time Defensive Player of the Year goes from learning plays from Wade Phillips to new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.
“There’s different things that are kind of rocky, the next day you feel a lot more clean, a little bit more of an understanding of how I have to play things,” Donald said. “I can put my own little twist to it, but not do it to the point where I’m messing up the defense. Each day is going to keep getting better.”
Donald promised to put his own signature on this year’s defense while addressing the tall task of building a relationship with Staley and protecting himself against COVID19.
“He has an excitement with him,” Donald said of Staley. “He cracks a couple jokes here and there. But he definitely brings a lot of excitement and a lot of passion with him.”
Besides opponents, he plans to focus on football while still protecting himself from the virus that has plagued our world.
“Once you are out there grinding with the guys, you kind of block all that out and it’s just football again. I was just thinking about that earlier, when I’m out there, I kind of forget that all the COVID stuff is going on until you leave the facility. Because once we are on the field, you are just running around, doing drills and it’s normal.“
Another goal of Donald’s during Training Camp is for him to get better and communicate that message to his fellow defensive players.
As far as Donald possibly plans with no fans at the new SoFi Stadium, he had a mixed reaction to that discovery.
“It’s weird. It doesn’t seem as fun. The excitement is kind of off, but I don’t know. It’s different for football, I think. It definitely seems weird. It’s different, but I guess you have to try and adapt to that. But I definitely think we need some type of fans in the stadium, even if it’s not a full house.”
Physically he feels great and is ready to go which is a nightmare to the opposing offense that has to face him and the defense.
*Sunday August 9, Donald along with fellow teammates Jalen Ramsey and quarterback Jared Goff will take part in a virtual fan tailgate.