A champion player without the title
But Aaron Donald is more to the defense than a sack specialist. He is a master of turning around a game’s momentum. Over the past four seasons, Donald has played 64 regular-season games. And yet, he has accounted for 77 tackles for a loss, the most TFL’s recorded in the NFL over that time period. That averages out to more than 1.2 TFLs per game.
Aaron Donald simply performs at an entirely higher level than other NFL players on defense.
He does so much, and yet, the thrill of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy or claiming his first Super Bowl Champion commemorative ring has eluded him. It seemed that falling short in the Divisional Round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs has infused a renewed urgency and intensity in the entire Rams organization.
The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue interviewed LA Rams head coach Sean McVay about the Rams star defensive lineman in a recent article NFL 100: At No. 24, Rams’ Aaron Donald is ‘everything that’s right’ — watching (the) film with Sean McVay proves it (subscription required):
"“I love this guy,” (McVay)said. “And this guy is as much motivation as anybody for why, if we don’t win a Super Bowl — if this guy doesn’t get one — then shame on me.”"
Perhaps that is why the LA Rams entire organization moved so quickly and decisively in the direction for a new quarterback. Perhaps that is why the LA Rams have taken a harsh critical look at all three phases of the team. This is no longer a team carried to the NFL playoffs by the stellar play of defensive lineman Aaron Donald.
No, Aaron Donald does not wake up in the morning hoping to become the team’s all-time top quarterback sack leader. But he does want to help the LA Rams win a Super Bowl, and to get there, he knows that he must bring down quarterbacks at a league-leading rate. Donald’s goal is to ultimately hoist the Lombardi Trophy. But to get there, setting the LA Rams record for most quarterback sacks is just one of many stops along the way.