Rams DT Aaron Donald unhappy with Week 1 performance
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald went into the season opener against the Oakland Raiders happy after he got his much-awaited $135 million mega-extension. However, he wasn’t so happy after the game because of his play.
Donald, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, finished with just one tackle against the Raiders and readily admitted it was not his best showing.
“I could have played better,” Donald said per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. “I’m gonna always be my worst critique — that’s just about trying to push myself to get myself better. … It was just more, you know, I just have to rush better and do things better. I’m second-guessing myself on certain things.”
Donald wasn’t the only one who thought he could’ve played better. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also thought his star defensive tackle didn’t have his A-game.
“I feel the way he did, somewhat,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said, adding, “I want him to do better, he wants to do better, but he’s still a great football player.”
Donald got his new deal done with time to spare ahead of the season opener. He was still able to get some practice time in after holding out for basically the entire offseason. But perhaps he still had a bit more rust to shake off, which led to his underwhelming game.
However, the Rams really shouldn’t have much to worry about Donald. Despite missing training camp and preseason last year, Donald worked his way into shape and produced a remarkable season which saw him win Defensive Player of the Year.
Barring some sort of injury, it’s not hard seeing Donald doing something similar this year given his incredible consistency since coming into the league.