“It’s like being a freshman all over again,” Donald said. “You’re the young guy in the room, and you’re just trying to catch up with the playbook. There’s just a lot more you need to know here. I’m just trying to be a student of the game, learn the game, learn what the guy next to me is doing.”
“It’s good to be able to have guys next to me who have done this for years,” Donald said. “That’s exactly what they told me. There’s a lot more to learn, a lot more plays, a lot more things that you need to know than there are in college.”
At 6’1” and 285 pounds, Donald represents a distinctly differing style from both Brockers and Langford. Built for quickness more than sheer brawn, Donald amassed 28.5 tackles for loss during his final season at Pittsburgh, leading all of college football. While he admittedly has much yet to learn, his talent has shone through to those around him over the past two weeks.
For at least one Rams coach, Donald certainly seems to be catching on fast enough. That would be offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who has already seen Donald leave an impression with his disruptive style of play in 11 on 11 drills during OTAs.
“Aaron Donald has my vote for rookie of the year already,” Schottenheimer said.
Donald, of course, is concerned with creating similar headaches for the rest of the offensive coordinators in the NFC West.
Replicating the pace he created at Pittsburgh during the early going may be a stretch for Donald, who joins a defensive line that, along with Brockers and defensive ends
“I’ve learned from some other guys, learning from (Coach Waufle), I’m just trying to improve myself and my role. Just being able to add some depth to this line, I just want to be a piece of the puzzle.”