From the Podium: Aaron Donald talks returning to facility, how he'll be used in defense

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald held a video conference with local media on Wednesday to discuss returning to the team's facility and how he will be used in Brandon Staley's defense, among other important topics. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from that virtual conversation:

"Guys know what they need to do. We're all grown men at the end of the day."

  • Asked if he has had any discussions with teammates about COVID-19, Donald echoed cornerback Jalen Ramsey's Tuesday comments that the Rams' locker room is mature enough to know how to make good choices away from the facility when it comes to risk mitigation.
  • In an answer to a separate question about playing in the midst of a pandemic, Donald said he feels safe because of the protocols in place and that maintaining that safety will "depend on guys doing what they need to do outside the facility."

"We've got good things going in that's not just going to help me, but help a lot of guys around us. I'm definitely excited about it."

  • The walkthroughs included in this week's acclimation period are giving Donald his first chance to translate what he's learned from multiple virtual installation meetings about the way Staley plans to use him onto the field.
  • Donald said that prior to arriving at the facility, Staley in the offseason called him "multiple times" to explain certain things he plans to do to put him in good positions within the scheme.

"I feel strong. I feel like I'm getting older, but I feel like I'm just getting in better shape as I get older. I feel amazing."

  • It was already detailed in May that Donald's work ethic hadn't dropped off in quarantine, but in case you needed a reminder, Donald said Tuesday he was "in great shape."
  • Although the performance center at the University of Pittsburgh which bears his name was temporarily closed due to the pandemic, Donald was still able to maintain his offseason conditioning regimen by working out in "The Dungeon" – the basement gym of his childhood home in Pittsburgh – and with his longtime speed trainer DeWayne Brown of Two-Tenths Speed & Agility.

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