Brockers Maturing into Leader for Defensive Line

Michael Brockers has been around a while.

The defensive lineman is heading into his seventh professional season. Only offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and long snapper Jake McQuaide have been playing for the Rams longer than Brockers, who was a 2012 first-round pick.

During the offseason program, Brockers said he’s feeling like a true veteran at this point in his career.

“Sometimes I do, and I almost jump into it like I’m more mature,” Brockers said. “It’s this thing about getting over 25 and you just go into immediate dad mode talking to the young guys, advising them what they should and shouldn’t do, just out of nature. So, I don’t know, it’s just that thing about maturing.”

It comes inherently with the ‘dad mode’ Brockers alluded to, but the veteran has grown into more of a leader as he’s gotten older.

“You know I don’t like to think about it because I think the leadership roles was just naturally given to me, I don’t think it was anything that happened,” Brockers said. “It was just like all of a sudden it’s seven years in and I’m one of the older guys. So, now by nature, I have to set a good example for some of the younger guys that are in the group.”

But Brockers isn’t the only “older guy” of the defensive line group. Los Angeles also brought on star veteran Ndamukong Suh via free agency, and Brockers called working with him during the offseason program “awesome.”

“He’s a smart guy. You hear all the tabloids about him, being mean, tough,” Brockers said. “If you get to know him, sit down and really just get to know him as a person, everybody enjoys him. He’s a great guy to be around, a great guy to come into this building with.”

With the way Los Angeles finished last season — plus the star-studded offseason additions — the Rams have higher expectations than in any time in Brockers’ career. But as head coach Sean McVay preaches, the defensive lineman is taking a one-day-at-a-time approach in order to be at his best for the start of the regular season.

“That’s hard because I’ve always been a guy to not buy into a lot of the hype and stuff like that,” Brockers said. “But seeing the offense that we have, seeing the star players that we acquired and them actually coming on the field, seeing the things that they can do is kinda exciting. So, it’s all about not letting it get to us, not letting the media get to us, and just keep our heads down and stay on the grind. I think that’s the most important thing.”

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