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LA Rams cannot discount Donald-Brockers bond of friendship

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams discovering the bond between Donald and Brockers is worth keeping

The LA Rams are quite fortunate to have two teammates who are also good friends. After all, friendships are not always easy to come by. That is doubly so in the NFL. Double that once-more for the LA Rams, where the team swaps out approximately 20-30 percent of the roster on an annual basis. It’s not that the Rams players are not friendly, they are.

But a real bond of friendship takes time to develop, and time is a premium that most NFL players simply do not have in the era of modern-day contracts that precipitate interchangeable players and moving every three to four years. With that being said, it’s no wonder NFL players are incredible when it comes to reaching out to rookies, other players from their alma mater, and to teammates. They understand the life of a professional football player and the heavy toll it can take on one another.

Rare bond

So the bond between defensive end Michael Brockers and defensive tackle Aaron Donald is pretty rare. Rare, but strong.  After all, as the days leading to free agency passed, it was Aaron Donald who lobbied long and hard for the LA Rams to bring back his teammate Michael Brockers, despite a situation where the Rams were dealing with losing Brockers, ILB Cory Littleton, and OLB Dante Fowler Jr at the same time.

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It’s somewhat of a payback.  You see, it was then-veteran Michael Brockers who welcomed then-rookie Aaron Donald to the Saint Louis Rams in 2014. Not only that but Brockers took Donald under his wing and mentored the young man in the ways of the NFL.  In 2020, Donald and Brockers faced the reality of the business side of the NFL. Donald was re-signed to a multi-year deal, and Brockers’ contract had just expired.  But in the end, the bond between Brockers and Donald persevered.

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Brockers is back, baby!

While everyone was pleasantly surprised by the return of Michael Brockers to the LA Rams, we haven’t really defined why it’s a good thing for the team. In 2019, Brockers was the versatile defensive lineman, someone who could slide inside to the nose tackle role, and then back out to the defensive end.  Now that the Rams have added A’Shawn Robinson to anchor the nose tackle role, Brockers can slide out to the defensive end role where he is more dangerous.

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And just like the Rams defensive front with Ndamukong Suh, that will make a tremendous difference to the other guy on the defensive line, Aaron Donald. In fact, the last time the Rams defensive front boasted Brockers and Donald as bookends, Donald chewed up the NFL for 20.5 quarterback sacks. With the pair reuniting unexpectedly for 2020, you can expect another banner season for both players. Despite the business-like veneer to the NFL, it’s still men depending upon one another. With the LA Rams, good things happen when Brockers and Donald count on one another.