By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
Some years ago if you went to a Boston Celtics practice you would see the entire team practicing in the gym together with the exception of one. They would practice together on the court running offensive plays, working on defensive drills, and scrimmaging rehearsing game situations. On a side court by himself would be 13-time NBA Champion, Hall of Famer Bill Russell. There was a simple reason for this. If they let Russell play with the rest of the team he’d block all the shots, get all the rebounds and score all of the points. Thus the team could get nothing accomplished when he was on the floor.
Last weekend when the Rams had their first inter-squad scrimmage at the spanking brand new SoFi Stadium Aaron Donald took over. Shortly after walking on to the field in the new Rams royal blue uniform he would bounce around the field doing knee lifts and sprints getting the feel of the turf. He then looked upward and admired the 70,000 seats, the Oculus videoboard, and the architect of the magnificent venue. He smiled absorbing the moment.
When the scrimmage began Donald made his presence felt. On running plays he met the ball carrier whether it was veterans Malcom Brown or Darrell Henderson. He even caused the rookie Cam Akers to fumble early on. Donald tossed the o-lineman around like they were ragdolls. He had two sacks and who knows how many quarterback hurries.
As a part of the HBO ‘Hard Knocks’ series you could see a shirtless Donald working out in the weightroom and it was confirmed he is the only person in sports with an eight-pack for abs. Depending how this year goes it could be a renaming of sorts. How about ‘DONALD FIELD” at SoFi Stadium.
After the two-hour RAMS practice coach Sean McVay was asked, “Did anybody stand out to you today?” His reply, “Yes Aaron Donald, he’s the best there is and he keeps getting better.”