In a viral video that was filmed by the NFL Network then spread across online, Donald appeared to be grabbing rookie defensive lineman Elijah Garcia by the throat in this rare technique:
Donald is walking the undrafted rookie backwards while shuffling his feet sideways. Some began to wonder if Donald was choking his new teammate. Even former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is now a co-host of the I Am Athlete podcast, brought up the viral video in his interview with Donald released on the evening of Thursday, August 4 — asking the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year: “Can you explain what this is?”
Donald Was Practicing a Technique
Let’s just say, that technique was no harm, no foul for both Donald and Garcia.
It was not Donald applying the beginning stages of a choke slam move like he was channeling his inner Undertaker or Kane of World Wrestling Entertainment fame. Instead, the newest $95 million NFL defender explained to “B Marsh” and Adam “Pac Man” Jones of I Am Athlete that he was practicing a technique move to counter the run.
“It’s a technique. Run scoot,” Donald said to both former Pro Bowlers. “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.”
It’s a move that some will perceive as an odd maneuver on the football field. But for Donald and the Rams, it’s an effective one-arm technique that can help seal off potential running lanes up the center and guard’s way — often the areas on the line where “A.D” lines up. Donald even shared his humor in further explaining the move.
“It ain’t disrespectful. It’s a technique. He’s a rookie! He’s gotta pay his dues! He had to!” Donald jokingly said to both men.
Marshall also brought up the technique to Donald as he showed another video showing an odd yet unique drill involving All-Pro running back Derrick Henry: One where defenders are lunging at his knee while on their knees and he’s running past them.
But if there’s anyone who is masterful at using their hands on the field regardless of what the move looks like, it’s Donald.
Donald Has Shown Unique Workout Habits Before
For those who think “run scoot” was an odd defensive line move, Donald had one unique hand swiping technique that topped that.
Before the upcoming 2018 season, Donald was spotted working out against a knife-wielding trainer. The blades, however, were fake.
Two years after that viral video, Donald was again video taped practicing the same hand combat moves with trainer Al Carson in the effort to become quick with his hands on the football field.
Donald’s knife workouts were a part of what’s called Krav Maga training, which was a training regimen developed by Carson that originated from the Israel Defense Forces. Carson told ESPN NFL reporter Alden Gonzalez in 2018 that he began using Krav Maga for football players including Donald.
“We teach them to attack the attacker, or a counter to the counter,” Carson said in the April 2018 interview. Carson at the time was in awe with Donald’s work ethic in the training, saying “His hands are just — they’re at a different level compared to the average NFL player. And his eye-and-hand-and-feet coordination are just superior to a lot of the NFL players that I’ve trained.”
Donald has since beaten his blocks using an array of hand moves, two of which spotlighted during the offseason by the Twitter account for D Line Vids:
And, in the play forever revered by the “Rams House,” Donald resorted to hand combat to deliver the game-clinching defensive stop to win Super Bowl 56.