Aaron Donald Noticing a More Competitive L.A. Rams Offense at Camp

Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald is all smiles after the Los Angeles Rams eliminated the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC playoffs.

Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams defense used to be the consistent winning side at training camp practices against the offense: Dominating the individual matchups and making more plays, helping lead into their eventual No. 1 NFL ranking in 2020.

But times are different, plus more competitive Donald says.

The 2020 NFL Defensive Player of the Year told the L.A. media following Tuesday’s camp that this time, the offense personnel has exchanged counter punches through their big plays and touchdowns against Donald and the defense. Donald, though, doesn’t vent afterwards about the offense getting into the end zone or gaining their chunk of yards at UC Irvine’s Crawford Field. Donald is instead embracing the competition.

“We’re making our plays. They’re making their plays. But that’s what it’s about. That’s what you want to see: Competition but fun competition,” Donald said. “They get us a little amped up and we’ve got to get them back. Going back-and-forth, and pushing each other to get better, that’s what it’s all about.”

Aaron Donald On Chemistry Of Defensive Line & What He's Seen From Matthew Stafford So FarRams DL Aaron Donald talks about the defensive line's chemistry and his impressions of QB Matthew Stafford so far during Training Camp presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union. Subscribe to the LA Rams Channel: bit.ly/3d9IrHe For More Exclusive Content follow the Rams: Twitter: twitter.com/ramsnfl Instagram: instagram.com/rams/ Facebook: facebook.com/Rams/ Website: therams.com Get the latest on the…2021-08-04T03:27:15Z

Donald Helped Force Interception, Then Received Lateral

For anyone looking to see what big breakout plays Donald has delivered at camp, Saturday’s session is a prime example.

On this clip that drew raves from the NFL Network crew on site at the Rams’ Saturday session, Donald penetrates through the line of scrimmage against David Edwards in a one-on-one battle. Matthew Stafford then throws the interception to Jalen Ramsey, who not only sprints down the field but rewards Donald the lateral and puts the touches on the pick six.

Yet, Donald has seen the offense retaliate right away, by scoring on the subsequent possession.

Then during Tuesday’s event, Stafford and the Rams pulled off this deep highlight with Cooper Kupp sneaking behind the secondary.

But it’s plays like those that Donald clearly secretly enjoys watching unfold as a defender. Because it means the defense now has increased competition during camp.

Donald on Stafford: ‘He’s Playing Lights Out’

There was a brief scare from the Rams, even from Donald, on Monday at the conclusion of practice: Stafford’s injured thumb.

Donald himself checked in on the player he lines up against, with the report of Donald wanting to see a wiggle from Stafford’s injured pollex.

The way Stafford threw the ball on Monday proved everything was OK. Outside of the contusion on the thumb of QB1, Donald has praised the way Stafford has played in his first Rams camp.

“He’s playing lights out,” Donald said. “I’m excited he’s on our side helping us to win. Just watching him, the way he works and the balls he’s thrown getting them to these wide receivers, I’ve never seen it done like that before. To be able to see it firsthand, it’s pretty cool.”

Competition has clearly intensified between the offense and defense, meaning there are no more easy wins for the latter on the Rams. But Donald loves it and prefers it that way.

“That’s what camp is about,” Donald said. “We’re with each other all day, from 7 a.m. in the morning to 9 at night. But you run together, you work together and you’re pushing each other.”

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