THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For an idea of how excited Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald is about the arrival of new teammate and outside linebacker Von Miller, consider he compared it to a recent major life event.
"I don't know man," Donald said, when asked about the last time he was this happy. "Probably when my baby was born. I've been cheesin'. I can't stop smiling."
Donald has every reason to.
Already with a league-leading 25 sacks – Donald has five of them – the Rams defense now adds Miller to the mix, injecting leadership, All-Decade pass rush talent and more into the unit.
The 32-year-old Miller amassed 110.5 career sacks in nine-plus seasons with the Broncos, making him the NFL's active leader. He'll help bookend an edge group led by Leonard Floyd and his team-high 6.5 sacks.
Donald is familiar with Floyd from connecting on social media and through attending his Pass Rush Summit in 2019. While Floyd hasn't attended a pass rush summit yet, he did work with the same trainer as Miller – former Falcons All-Pro defensive end Chuck Smith.
"It's been great so far," Floyd said after Thursday's practice about Miller. "He came in day one, said he was going to come in and just play hard for us and help us win football games."
Exactly how – aside from the obvious of continuing to put pressure on the quarterback as the Rams have done consistently this season – remains to be seen, but Rams defensive coordinator knows from experience to tailor scheme to fit talented players.
Morris remembers having conversations with members of the Buccaneers scouting staff when he was the Bucs head coach about Miller when Miller was coming out for the 2011 NFL Draft and whether he would be a fit in their 4-3 scheme.
"I said, 'Change the scheme,' and I meant it with every being I had," Morris said Thursday. "I feel no differently about what he'll be able to do for us."
This much is clear: The arrival of Miller will make it difficult to concentrate on just one Rams pass rusher, whether it be Donald, Floyd or another member of the unit.
"You add a talent like that with the players we got like Flo and myself, even Greg (Gaines) has been rushing good, the certain looks we're able to give, it's going to be hard for teams to try to focus on one person because we've got so many good players, so it should be fun," Donald said. "We've still got to go out there and compete and make it happen, but we've got a great opportunity to do some great things."