In his recent remarks to TMZ.com, defensive lineman Michael Brockers didn’t simply comment on his team’s eventual new quarterback. Brockers also was asked to name the best defensive line in the NFC West, given the arrival of J.J. Watt in Arizona.
“You already know that question, bro. It’s all about consistency, what the Rams been putting out. Not per se myself, but we all know who the real 9-9 is.”
The Rams No. 99, obviously, is Aaron Donald. And he continues to be the cornerstone of the defense in L.A.
Of course, Watt and Donald have one very important thing in common. They each have won three NFL defensive player of the year awards. (It’s not the first time that one division has had players with a combined six NFL defensive player of the year award. In 2012, the AFC North also had six DPOY trophies in it: Ray Lewis (2000, 2003), Ed Reed (2004), Terrell Suggs (2011), James Harrison (2008), Troy Polamalu (2010).)
If nothing else, Watt’s presence and the hype associated with it could give Donald and the rest of the Rams’ defensive linemen even more motivation to continue to show that they’re the best in the division.
Of course, the 49ers could have something to say about that, too. Which only underscores the reality that Arizona likely will need a lot more than J.J. Watt to get to the top of the best quartet of teams in football.