Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is one of the most dominant players in NFL history.
But until you see him play in person, it’s possible to think he might not be as good as advertised.
That was the case for former Rams associate head coach Thomas Brown.
Brown, who also coached the tight ends, revealed on the Playcallers podcast that he had been around former first-round defensive players that made him think Donald couldn’t be as good as advertised.
Donald turned out to be better than that.
“I remember I was a coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes. They would ask us to give advice to our future pro guys on what to prepare and how to prepare, what to expect at the next level,” Brown said. “So they go on and on about Aaron Donald and his process, him being relentless, and how great he is. And in my mind, I’m like, ‘I’ve been around first-round defensive linemen before, and he’s good, but he can’t be that good.'”
It didn’t take Donald long to make an impression after Brown got a job with the Rams in 2020.
“Sean (McVay) keeps going on about A.D., and I’m like, ‘Man, this is crazy; everyone keeps talking about this dude like he’s unstoppable.’ I’m a doubter, not going to lie, I was a doubter, …” Brown said. “I heard about how good the offensive line was and the success we had, and every day in practice, this dude is unblockable. He’s making every play, and so I go back to Sean and say, ‘Listen, y’all undersold this cat. He’s better than everyone said he was.'”
Donald went on to lead the Rams to the 2022 Super Bowl.