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NFL Rookie of the Year results, internal motivation fueling Kobie Turner as he prepares for Year 2

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Kobie Turner wasted no time.

Upon learning he had not won 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the Rams nose tackle right away texted Aaron Donald to get in touch with Donald's trainers. A week later, he was working with Al "Poodie" Carson, whose Krav Maga training Donald went through in 2018 went viral.

"I was a little frustrated," Turner said of not winning the award, "but I was like, 'go ahead and put me in contact with your guy,' and he set me up, and I was in there the next week or the week after. And so one, that was a good little fire up under me to get me back started for the offseason, but it was really awesome to be able to work out with him, to be able to work out with somebody that he trusts."

Donald's retirement this spring left a void along the defensive line, and Turner is motivated to help fill it – especially considering the versatile role he may potentially have in his second season.

Turner said he's talked to defensive coordinator Chris Shula about those types of opportunities – whether that be leadership, from a pass-rush standpoint or playing more 3-technique – with Donald gone. "So the emphasis this year is definitely want some more positional versatility," Turner said.

"I've played around the line a little bit last year, but continuing to expand my knowledge so that we can take advantage of whatever matchups are going to present themselves on gameday," Turner said. "And so that's one of my emphases also going into this offseason, is just be as comfortable as comfortable as I got the second stretch of the season at nose, find that comfortability level with the three, with the four, if ever have to play the five on any of our fronts, all across the board. So I'm definitely excited for that opportunity going forward, and we'll see how that continues to build out."

Losing out on NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year isn't necessarily fueling Turner's preparation for his second season, given he's already internally motivated and has his own goals he wants to accomplish.

Still, there's nothing wrong with a spark starting a small fire that adds to the intrinsic fuel already burning – especially if it led to working with a trainer who helped develop one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history.

"Just the fact that I feel like I'm just getting to that next level, but I'm never at a point where I can just relax and be like, 'I'm dominating every single thing,'" Turner said. "So that fuel is, 'What am I going to do this year to be able to get to that dominant level?' I think it definitely lit a fire, but the fuel is all internal for sure."

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