Aaron Donald won his third Defensive Player of the Year award Saturday, putting him among the all-time greats. The Los Angeles Rams generational defender, however, wants more.
Donald told reporters on Sunday that while the newest trophy for his collection is nice, the one he really wants is a Lombardi.
“It’s a blessing,” Donald said, via the team’s official website. “I always say the same stuff, you know — anytime you’re rewarded for the body of work you put in and people notice that, you’ll be happy about that. You’re accomplishing great things building to a legacy, but never satisfied. I know I still got a lot of work to do, a lot of room for improvement. The ultimate goal is to be holding that trophy up. That’s what we’re chasing, that’s what I’m chasing, that’s what I want to accomplish. And I until I accomplish that, I ain’t going to be satisfied.”
Donald’s Rams came close to reaching that goal, losing Super Bowl LIII to Tom Brady’s Patriots in 2018.
Turning 30 years old in May, Donald was named to his sixth-straight All-Pro team in seven NFL seasons. The dominance of the defensive tackle was underscored by just how much L.A. missed him not being at full strength as they lost in the divisional round to Green Bay. Without Donald wrecking the middle, the Rams No. 1 rated defense had its worst day of the season.
As he gets older, Donald knows injuries like the one that kept him from being 100 percent in the postseason will be more challenging to shake. For one of the greatest athletes in the game, the only way to improve is to keep working.
“I’m definitely getting older, I’m definitely feeling the aches and pains a little different,” Donald said. “I’m always going to work hard. For me, I can’t slow down the way I work, the way I train. I’ve just got to make sure I take care of my body, do that much more to make sure that even if I do have a little bit of aches and pains through this offseason from training, I’m on top of it and taking care of it to the point where I won’t let it linger. Doing everything I can to be in great shape, be prepared come game time before football is back, but at the same time making sure I’m healthy enough so I won’t be limited or slowed down by (anything).”
With the trade for Matthew Stafford, the Rams feel like they added a missing piece to a potential Lombardi-lifting team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just won a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Rams hope to replicate that feat at SoFi Stadium next year.
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