Aaron Donald just became the third player to win three AP defensive player of the year awards, after recording 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 28 quarterback hits, and for forced fumbles in 2020.
But Donald and the rest of the Rams’ defense will have a third coordinator in three years after Brandon Staley became the cross-town Chargers’ head coach.
Raheem Morris is taking over the position, and he’s looking forward to scheming for Donald after having to scheme against him when he served as Atlanta’s wide receivers coach.
“Every offensive conversation that started that week was how to slide to Aaron Donald, to get him doubled, or triple teamed, or chipped, or have a reason to try to not let him wreck the game. He is an official game wrecker,” Morris told J.B. Long on the “Rams Revealed” podcast. “And when we came there, that was our plan. And he absolutely did his best job of trying to ruin the game for us. Fortunately, we got away with a win. But he does not make it easy for anybody.”
Now that Morris is scheming for Donald, he’s well aware that opposing teams are going to do everything they can to take him out of the game. He believes Donald knows that, too.
“When you have a guy like Aaron Donald, the things he does for the people around him are just so special,” Morris said. “He’s one of the few people in the league that I see that can work his hands and have great hand placement at a consistent, accurate rate that he has. He’s able to use it. He knows the schemes and he’s able to work against his body and do all the things you need to get done.
“What we’ll do with Aaron Donald is the things he’s been doing, the things he’s been successful with. The things that I notice from last year is his ability to move around and play in different spots are just unique. We want to keep doing those things and he’s just an awesome, awesome football player.”
Donald has registered double-digit sacks in each of the last four seasons, and five of his seven years in the league. Maximizing the talents of Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey will be key to Morris’ success in Los Angeles.