Aaron Donald is his own worst critic. Nothing

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Aaron Donald is his own worst critic. Nothing

Postod panxing18 » 17 Maj 2019 09:02

is going to change that Samson Ebukam Jersey , not even a contract extension that briefly made the Los Angeles Rams' All-Pro lineman the highest-paid defender in NFL history.Donald was not pleased with his performance in the Rams' opener, recording one tackle in the 33-13 victory at Oakland on Monday night. With a few days to reflect on his first game since agreeing to a six-year, $135-million deal, he stood by that initial assessment, but acknowledged it was an much a motivational ploy as a genuine assessment."That's just about trying to push myself and get myself better, you know," Donald said Thursday. "Still got to get better each day. I just got to keep working."Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips understood Donald's thinking, but felt the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year was mostly effective in getting past the Raiders offensive line, even if it did not always result in him pressuring quarterback Derek Carr. Donald did sack Carr in the first quarter, but it was negated by a roughing the passer penalty for a low tackle.What kept Donald from getting more hurries and hits on Carr, Phillips said, was a game plan designed to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly. The reluctance of opposing offenses to employ a vertical passing offense against a defensive line of Donald, Michael Brockers and free-agent signing Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters might be among the few obstacles to keep Donald from recording at least eight sacks for the fifth consecutive season."The guy got rid of the ball, the quarterback got rid of the ball. But I thought Aaron was past whoever he was rushing against a lot of the time, and that's what you look at," Phillips said."He made a lot of disruptions, but he's the type of guy who wants to make that bigger impact on the game and want to get them sacks and tackle for losses and just ultimately dominate the game," Brockers said.Everything else about Donald's performance against Oakland following his second consecutive lengthy offseason holdout looked solid.Having tailored his workouts based on his 2017 experience, when he reported to the team one day before the season opener after missing all of training camp, Donald played in 89 percent of the defensive snaps against Oakland to lead all Rams linemen.Donald would not get into the specifics of how he changed his regiment, joking asking, "Are you trying to learn what I'm doing? I don't want everybody knowing my training. But I worked hard this offseason. I did a lot of different things."Along with his endurance, Donald displayed a rapport with Suh as the game went on.However, it was Brockers who had the Rams' only sack, leading to Donald having some fun by joining a group of reporters and asking, "How did you enjoy your sack Josh Reynolds Jersey , sir?""That was glorious," Brockers playfully responded.What would be even more marvelous for Rams fans is seeing Suh, Brockers and Donald impose their will on quarterbacks, starting with Arizona's Sam Bradford on Sunday. Donald is adamant the trio's ability to take over games will manifest sooner than later."We such a solid group and we got so many big-time playmakers, you know, at times we got to take over games," Donald said. "And we got to keep getting better as players, as a unit, and we'll gel a lot better, too, the more we play."NOTES: LB Mark Barron (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day. Barron has been dealing with a Achilles tendon injury since last season, and Phillips said it could linger throughout this season. "There's going to be a point when he can (play) I hope, and we hope it's this week," Phillips said. ATLANTA (AP) — Hey, have you guys been here before?If you're a New England Patriot, the answer pretty much is "all the time."If you play for the Rams, the reply basically is "never in my life." So if experience is a factor in Sunday's Super Bowl, the overwhelming edge is with the 2½-point favorites from Foxborough who are 5-3 in NFL title games with Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick in the hoodie on the sideline.The Rams, whose past two Super trips were representing St. Louis in 2000 and '02, have four players who have gotten this far. New England has four on its defensive line alone."Probably, throughout the week, it gives them an advantage," Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth says — and he's finishing up his 13th NFL season, though it's his first that ends in February."They kind of know this week. They know when things are a little anxious, when to kind of, ‘Hey John Johnson Jersey , turn it on and get ready to play.' They probably have a process and plan for the week."Athletes in every sport talk about how helpful a comfort zone can be. It's even more pronounced when it accompanies events such as the Super Bowl, which, for better or worse, transcends football.Brady and most of his teammates, in their third straight visit, barely flinch at all the attention, media demands and alterations to the norm they encounter during Super Bowl week — although they were taken aback somewhat by the cacophony and circus atmosphere of opening night on Monday. Aside from Aqib Talib, C.J. Anderson, Brandin Cooks and Sam Shields, for the Rams this is uncharted territory.Rams coach Sean McVay tends to dismiss that theory, however. Using quarterback Jared Goff as an example, McVay could have been speaking for his entire squad, which has made a sensational turnaround in his two seasons in charge."He's an unfazed quarterback," McVay says. "I think his way to have success and handle adversity the same demonstrates that poise and confidence you want from your quarterback."Nowhere is the experience matchup more uneven than at QB. At 41, Brady already is the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl. Goff is 24 and one of the youngest.Well, maybe nowhere is an exaggeration, because Belichick, at 66, could become the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl. He has worked 41 postseason games, with 30 victories, most among head coaches in NFL history. He's the only head coach with five Super Bowl rings.McVay is half his age and in his first NFL title game, the youngest Super Bowl head man.Rams President Kevin Demoff hears all of that so-called evidence, then cites so many positives about McVay that he sounds like the next dominant coach.Sunday will be a powerful acid test for McVay and his team.Some other things to look for in Super Bowl 53:GRONK'S FINALE?There's widespread speculation that Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski could be playing his final NFL game. The four-time All-Pro has been plagued by injuries for much of his career, and only in his first two pro seasons did he play a full 16-game schedule. In 2018, he made it into 13 games.Gronkowski has battled through back, knee Gerald Everett Jersey , ankle and arm injuries throughout his nine pro seasons, and thought about retirement after last year's Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. If this will be it for the big-play tight end with superb blocking skills, he isn't letting on."As of right now, those are the last things I'm thinking about," Gronkowski says. "I love playing the game. After a long season, after the (Super Bowl), a few weeks down the road, you sit back, you relax, you get some downtime, enjoyment time. And you just see where you want to go with it."That's a tricky question. You're trying to get around me. You're just trying to get you some answers over there, baby. But like I said, I don't know. I haven't done that sit-down yet. I've got to do that sit-down. About two weeks after (the Super Bowl), then I'll know."DONALD'S DOMINANCERams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the only unanimous All-Pro this season, led the NFL with 20½ sacks.Considering that Brady barely has been touched or pressured in two playoff games — both against teams with strong pass rushers — it is incumbent upon Donald to be a factor Sunday.Make that a major factor."We'll get to him, but we have to stay patient and don't get frustrated," Donald says. "We've got a great secondary that will do its job and make sure he doesn't have easy throws. If he has to hold onto the ball, we'll have our chances. We just have to go get him."Otherwise, the most accomplished quarterback in Super Bowl history might tear them apart.CLOSE ONESThe Rams' past two trips to the big game were tight affairs in which they beat Tennessee and lost to New England. In all of the Patriots' eight previous trips in the Brady-Belichick era, the result was in doubt until the final moments.So to expect a romp at Mercedes-Benz Stadium seems foolhardy."It would be nice to get one of those," Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. "But the idea is to win, no matter how you do it."The largest margin in a Patriots Super Bowl under this regime has been the eight points the Eagles beat them by a year ago.
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