Aaron Donald

Aaron Charles Donald (born May 23, 1991) is an American football defensive tackle[1] for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Pittsburgh, where he was recognized as a unanimous All-American. He was drafted by the Rams with the thirteenth pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has been selected to five Pro Bowls, won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and has been named twice as the AP Defensive Player of the Year, having won the award back-to-back in 2017 and 2018. Donald is known for his prodigious physical strength and is ranked as one of the top defensive players in the NFL.[2].

Aaron Donald
refer to caption
Donald with the Rams in 2015
No. 99 – Los Angeles Rams
Position:Defensive End/Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:May 23, 1991 (age 27)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:280 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school:Penn Hills
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
College:Pittsburgh
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Total tackles:264
Sacks:59.5
Forced fumbles:13
Fumble recoveries:4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

A native of Pittsburgh, Donald grew up as one of three children in a working-class family in the city's Lincoln–Lemington–Belmar neighborhood. His father Archie, whose football career ended due to a patellar fracture suffered while playing at Norfolk State, introduced Aaron to strength training when he was 12, seeking to provide more structure in his son's life. Aaron himself would later admit that he was "lazy as a kid". By age 14, he and his father woke up at 4:30 am and almost immediately proceeded to work out for nearly two hours in the basement gym that Archie installed in the family home.[3]

Donald attended Penn Hills High School, where he played high school football for head coach Ron Graham.[4] He was selected first team All-State Class AAAA in each of his final two seasons, and compiled 63 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks as a senior. He also started at offensive guard.

Considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, he was rated as the 37th best defensive tackle in the nation.[5] He committed to hometown Pittsburgh over other scholarship offers from Toledo, Akron, and Rutgers.[6][7]

College career

As a true freshman, Donald played in all 13 games as a reserve defensive end. He recorded 11 tackles, including three for loss, and two sacks.[8] In 2011, as a sophomore, Donald moved into the starting lineup, and turned in a breakout campaign. He recorded 47 tackles, including 16 for loss, 11 sacks and one forced fumble, and was named a second-team All-Big East selection.[9] As a junior, he recorded 64 tackles, including 18.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble, earning first-team All-Big East honors.[10] In his senior season, he became one of the most productive defensive players in the entire NCAA. He posted 59 tackles, including a career best 28.5 for loss, 11 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-American.[11][12]

College statistics

Aaron Donald Defense
Year Team GP Tackles For Loss Sacks Int FF
2010 Pittsburgh 13 11 3.0 2.0 0 0
2011 Pittsburgh 13 45 16.0 11.0 0 1
2012 Pittsburgh 13 64 18.5 5.5 0 1
2013 Pittsburgh 13 59 28.5 11.0 0 4
Total 52 181 66.0 29.5 0 6

Awards and honors

Professional career

Aaron Donald 2014 combine
Donald at the 2014 NFL Combine.

At the NFL Combine, Donald set the record for fastest 40-yard dash time for a defensive tackle with a 4.68. The record previously held by Tank Johnson, who ran a 4.69 in 2004. He drew comparisons to John Randle afterwards.[17] Donald was drafted in the first round with the 13th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.[18]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 34 in
(1.85 m)
285 lb
(129 kg)
32 58 in
(0.83 m)
9 78 in
(0.25 m)
4.68 s 1.59 s 3.21 s 4.39 s 7.11 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
35 reps
All values from NFL Combine[19]

2014 season: Rookie year

On June 16, 2014, the Rams signed Donald to a four-year, $10.13 million rookie contract that is fully guaranteed. The contract also included a $5.69 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option.[20]

On September 7, 2014, Donald made his NFL debut against the Minnesota Vikings and finished the 34–6 loss with four tackles.[21] The following week, he recorded three tackles and his first NFL sack during a 19–17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[22] On October 13, 2014, he was given his first career start against the San Francisco 49ers and finished the game with four solo tackles.[23] After recording 47 tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles, Donald was one of five rookies selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl.[24][25] Donald won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.[26][27]

2015 season

In 2015, Donald began the season as the Rams' starting defensive tackle. During the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, he recorded a career-high nine total tackles and two sacks, helping the Rams win 34–31 in overtime.[28] He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his NFL career for his performance.[29] On December 13, 2015, Donald made five tackles and a career-high three sacks against the Detroit Lions in Week 14.[30][31] He earned his second NFC Defensive Player of the Week award in 2015 after his performance against the Lions.[32]

Donald started all 16 games and ended the season with 69 tackles, 11 sacks, a pass defended, and a fumble recovery.[33] He earned a First Team All-Pro nomination for the first time in his NFl career.[34] He was a Pro Bowl selection for the second consecutive season.[35] He was also ranked 14th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[36]

2016 season

Aaron Donald Ejected
Donald leaves a game after being ejected

On September 12, 2016, Donald was ejected for making illegal contact with a referee in a 28–0 shutout loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.[37][38] On September 16, 2016, he was fined $21,269 for unnecessary roughness ($9,115) and unsportsmanlike conduct ($12,154).[39] During a Week 4 17–13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Donald had 1.5 sacks, five total tackles, one tackle-for-loss, five quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.[40] He earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in his career after his performance against the Cardinals.[41] On October 21, 2016, he was fined $18,231 for an unsportsmanlike conduct after committing the penalty during a game against the Detroit Lions.[20] Donald was named to his third straight Pro Bowl and his second First-team All-Pro.[42] Donald was also ranked 15th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[43]

2017 season: Defensive Player of the Year

On April 12, 2017, the Rams exercised the fifth-year option on Donald's contract.[44] He did not report to the Rams' 2017 training camp and preseason due to a contract extension dispute. He accumulated about $1.4 million in fines due to his non-participation, and each game that he missed cost him one game check from his base salary of $1.8 million.[45] On September 9, 2017, Donald reported to the Rams and passed his physical, however, he didn't play in the season-opener against the Indianapolis Colts the next day, which the Rams won 46-9.[46] On December 19, 2017, Donald was named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl.[47] He was also later named a first-team All-Pro for the third time.[48] Donald finished the 2017 season with 41 tackles, 11 sacks, and five forced fumbles.[49] After a stellar 2017 season, Donald was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.[50] He was ranked #7 by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[51]

2018 season: Super Bowl appearance

On August 31, 2018, after holding out all offseason, Donald signed a six-year, $135 million contract extension with $87 million guaranteed.[52] The deal made him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, although Khalil Mack signed a $141 million contract with the Chicago Bears the next day after being traded from the Oakland Raiders.[53]

During Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers, Donald recorded a career-high four sacks on quarterback C. J. Beathard, along with nine tackles, 6 for a loss, and five quarterback hits in a 39–10 win, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career.[54] Donald was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for the month of October after recording eight sacks, 17 tackles, and a forced fumble.[55] In Week 16, Donald recorded seven tackles (four for a loss) and three sacks in a 31–9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[56] His three sacks brought his season total to 19.5, which broke the record for most sacks in a season by a defensive tackle, previously held by Keith Millard with 18.0.[57] Donald added another sack in Week 17 against the 49ers and finished the season with a league-leading total of 20.5 sacks.[58][59] Donald was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for December, his second such award in the season.[60]

On January 4, 2019, Donald was named to the AP All-Pro First Team, being the only unanimous selection.[61] On February 2, 2019, Donald was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.[62] Donald joined Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt as the only players who have won the award in consecutive seasons.[63] Donald helped the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII after defeating the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship.[64][65] In the Super Bowl, Donald recorded five tackles but the Rams lost by a score of 13–3 to the New England Patriots, with the Patriots offensive linemen (including Joe Thuney) double teaming Donald in order to neutralize his effectiveness which was cited as a key factor in the result.[66][67][68][69]

Awards

NFL statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck TFL PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2014 STL 16 12 48 38 10 9.0 18 1 0.0 2 0
2015 STL 16 16 69 43 26 11.0 22 1 0.0 0 1
2016 LAR 16 16 47 35 12 8.0 17 5 0.0 2 0
2017 LAR 14 14 41 32 9 11.0 15 1 0.0 5 1
2018 LAR 16 16 59 41 18 20.5 25 1 0.0 4 2
Career 78 74 264 189 75 59.5 97 9 0 0 0.0 0 0 13 4

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck TFL PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2017 LAR 1 1 5 4 1 0.5 1 - 0.0
2018 LAR 3 3 9 5 4 0.0 3 0.0
Career 4 4 14 9 5 0.5 4 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

Personal life

Donald's older brother Archie Jr. had a less successful football career; the latter was a star linebacker at Toledo who, according to ESPN writer Alden Gonzalez, "bounced around the NFL as an undrafted free agent until retiring in 2012." The brothers, who shared bunk beds in their childhood, frequently thought about one day helping their parents retire, which according to Gonzalez became one of the driving forces in Aaron's career. When Aaron was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014, he bought his father a used truck; four years later, he bought his father a $40,000 Rolex watch as a birthday present. A few weeks after he signed his most recent contract extension, he set up both of his parents (who by that time had divorced) with retirement funds sufficient to allow both to permanently stop working, plus brand-new homes of their choosing. His father's new home was in Penn Hills, near Aaron's old high school. However, at Aaron's and Archie Jr.'s insistence, Archie Sr. never sold his old home. All three still occasionally return to their old basement gym for offseason workouts.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Aaron Donald Player Profile".
  2. ^ https://theramswire.usatoday.com/2018/06/26/nfl-los-angeles-rams-ranking-top-100-players-quotes-video/
  3. ^ a b Gonzalez, Alden (January 12, 2019). "How Rams DT Aaron Donald became the NFL's most unstoppable force". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Penn Hills cherishes Aaron Donald as he prepares for Super Bowl debut | TribLIVE". triblive.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  5. ^ "Aaron Donald - Rivals.com". rivals.yahoo.com.
  6. ^ "Aaron Donald Recruit Interests". 247sports.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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  8. ^ "Aaron Donald 2010 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Aaron Donald 2011 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "Aaron Donald 2012 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  11. ^ "Aaron Donald 2013 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  12. ^ "The Official Athletic Site of the University of Pittsburgh". www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
  13. ^ "Pitt's Aaron Donald named winner of Lombardi Award". www.nfl.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "Aaron Donald wins Nagurski Award". ESPN.com. December 10, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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  34. ^ Broner, Tevin (January 9, 2016). "Three St. Louis Rams Make 2015 All-Pro Team". Turf Show Times. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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  37. ^ Meyer, Max. "Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ejected in loss". NFL.com. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  38. ^ Meyer, Max. "Aaron Donald not expected to be suspended". NFL.com. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  39. ^ Shook, Nick. "Fines: Aaron Donald docked $21K for two infractions". NFL.com. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  40. ^ "Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals – October 2nd, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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  42. ^ "Three rookies, Matt Ryan among players named to All-Pro team". NFL.com. January 6, 2017.
  43. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2017' : No. 15 Aaron Donald". NFL.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  44. ^ Patra, Kevin (April 12, 2017). "Rams exercise fifth-year option on Aaron Donald". NFL.com.
  45. ^ "Holdout Donald expected to miss Rams opener". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  46. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (September 9, 2017). "Aaron Donald ends holdout, reports to Rams facility". NFL.com.
  47. ^ "NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl rosters". NFL.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  48. ^ Wilson, Mike (January 7, 2018). "Aaron Donald wraps up All-Pro season with first NFL playoff appearance". Cardiac Hill. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  49. ^ "2017 Los Angeles Rams Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  50. ^ Shook, Nick (February 3, 2018). "Aaron Donald named NFL Defensive Player of the Year". NFL.com.
  51. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2018': Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald". NFL.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  52. ^ Teope, Herbie (August 31, 2018). "Rams sign Aaron Donald to six-year, $135M extension". NFL.com.
  53. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 1, 2018). "Khalil Mack agrees to six-year, $141M Bears deal". NFL.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  54. ^ "Cam Newton, Aaron Donald among Players of the Week". NFL.com. October 24, 2018.
  55. ^ Shook, Nick (November 1, 2018). "Todd Gurley, James Conner lead players of October". NFL.com.
  56. ^ "Nick Foles, Baker Mayfield among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com. December 26, 2018.
  57. ^ Alper, Josh (December 23, 2018). "Aaron Donald sets single-season sack record for defensive tackles". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  58. ^ "2018 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  59. ^ "San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams – December 30th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  60. ^ "Aaron Donald Named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for December". www.therams.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  61. ^ "Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley named 2018 first-team All-Pros". Rams Wire. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  62. ^ "Rams' Aaron Donald wins second straight Defensive Player of Year". ESPN. February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  63. ^ "Aaron Donald joins Taylor, Watt as only back-to-back Defensive Players of the Year". FOX Sports. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  64. ^ "Divisional Round – Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams – January 12th, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  65. ^ "NFC Championship – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints – January 20th, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  66. ^ "Super Bowl LIII – Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots – February 3rd, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  67. ^ https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/01/super-bowl-53-rams-patriots-bill-belichick-aaron-donald
  68. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gpTzVGqBuQ
  69. ^ https://247sports.com/nfl/new-england-patriots/Article/Joe-Thuney-dominated-Aaron-Donald-on-Patriots-TD-drive--128985869/

External links

2011 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The 2011 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Panthers were led through the regular season by first-year head coach Todd Graham and played eight home games at Heinz Field. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was named interim coach for the season-ending bowl game after Graham resigned in favor of a head coaching position at Arizona State. This was the team's last year as a member of the Big East Conference.

2013 Atlantic Coast Conference football season

The 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) football season was an NCAA football season that was played from August 29, 2013, to January 7, 2014. It was the first season of play for former Big East Conference members Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Syracuse plays in the Atlantic Division, while Pittsburgh plays in the Coastal Division. It was also the last season for Maryland in the ACC as they will move to the Big Ten Conference in 2014.

The Atlantic Coast Conference consists of 14 members in two divisions. The Atlantic division consists of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. The Coastal division consists of Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The division champions, Duke and Florida State, met in December in the 2013 ACC Championship Game, located in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

The 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is an American college football bowl game that was played on December 26, 2013 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The 17th edition of Little Caesars Pizza Bowl featured the Pittsburgh Panthers from the Atlantic Coast Conference against the Bowling Green Falcons from the Mid-American Conference. It was one of the 2013–14 bowl games that concluded the 2013 FBS football season.

Pittsburgh defeated Bowling Green by a score of 30–27. Pittsburgh running back James Conner, who rushed for 229 yards, was named the game's most valuable player.The game was the final edition of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl; it was displaced by the Quick Lane Bowl, organized by the Detroit Lions, beginning in 2014.

2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season

The 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season was the highest level college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The regular season began on August 29, 2013 and ended on December 14, 2013. The postseason concluded on January 6, 2014 with the final BCS National Championship Game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game to become the consensus national champion of the 2013 season. This was the final season in which the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was used to determine the national champion of the Football Bowl Subdivision; the BCS was replaced by the College Football Playoff system starting with the 2014 season.

2013 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The 2013 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2013 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Panthers were led by head coach Paul Chryst and played their home games at Heinz Field. They were a member of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. This was Pitt's first season as a member of the ACC after being a member of the Big East since 1991. They finished the season 7–6, 3–5 in ACC play to finish in sixth place in the Coastal Division. Pitt was invited to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, beating Bowling Green on a field goal by Chris Blewitt in the final two minutes. Running back, James Conner, rushed for 229 yards and broke a Pittsburgh bowl record previously held by Tony Dorsett.

2014 NFL Draft

The 2014 NFL draft was the 79th annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible football players to the league. The draft, officially the "Player Selection Meeting", was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, on May 8th through May 10th, 2014. One of the most anticipated drafts in recent years kicked off on May 8, 2014 at 8 pm EDT. The draft was moved from its traditional time frame in late April due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall.There was early discussion and rumors leading up to the draft on the future of staying at the current location in New York City, where it had been held since 1965. Given the increased interest the draft had garnered over the past decade, there was belief that the event may have outgrown Radio City Music Hall, which had been the venue for the past nine drafts. The possibility of extending the draft to four days was also being discussed throughout the months leading up to the draft. The NFL decided in that summer that the 2015 NFL Draft will take place at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

The Houston Texans opened the draft by selecting defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from the University of South Carolina. The last time a defensive player was taken with the first overall selection was in 2006, when the Texans selected Mario Williams. The Texans also closed the draft with the selection of safety Lonnie Ballentine of the University of Memphis as Mr. Irrelevant, which is the title given to the final player selected.The 2014 NFL draft made history when the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam in the seventh round. Sam, who became the first openly gay player to ever be drafted in the NFL, was selected 249th out of 256 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. After this, Sam's jersey was the second best selling rookie jersey on the NFL's website. Sam came out publicly in the months leading up to the draft.A few notable players drafted in 2014 were Jimmy Garoppolo, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Khalil Mack, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, Anthony Barr, Allen Robinson, Jadeveon Clowney, Mike Evans, Devonta Freeman, Martavis Bryant, and Sammy Watkins.

2016 Oregon gubernatorial special election

The 2016 Oregon special gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 2016, to elect the Governor of Oregon, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as elections for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and various state and local elections.

The election determined who would fill the remaining two years of the term of Democratic governor John Kitzhaber, who was re-elected in 2014 and resigned in February 2015. Incumbent Democratic governor Kate Brown, who as Oregon Secretary of State succeeded to the governorship, ran for election to the office. In primary elections held on May 17, Brown easily captured the Democratic nomination, and the Republicans picked Salem oncologist Bud Pierce.

Brown won the election and became the first openly LGBT person elected to a term as governor in U.S. history.

2016 Pro Bowl

The 2016 Pro Bowl (branded as the 2016 Pro Bowl presented by USAA for sponsorship reasons) was the National Football League's all-star game for the 2015 season, which was played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 31, 2016.

Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs and Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers were selected to coach the teams due to their teams being the highest seeded teams from each conference to lose in the Divisional Round of 2015–16 NFL playoffs, which has been the convention since the 2010 Pro Bowl. On January 27, Mike McCarthy announced that he would not be coaching the Pro Bowl due to an illness and also announced that assistant head coach Winston Moss would take over head coaching duties. This was also the sixth consecutive year that the Pro Bowl took place prior to the Super Bowl. At the Pro Bowl Draft, the Chiefs' coaching staff was assigned to Team Rice, and the Packers' coaching staff was assigned to Team Irvin.The game continued the fantasy draft format that debuted with the 2014 Pro Bowl. The two teams were to be drafted and captained by two Hall of Famers, Jerry Rice (winning 2014 Pro Bowl captain) and Michael Irvin (winning 2015 Pro Bowl captain). Darren Woodson and Eric Davis served as defensive co-captains for Irvin and Rice respectively, in both cases reuniting two former teammates (Irvin and Woodson were teammates on the Dallas Cowboys from 1992 to 1999, while Rice and Davis played together with the San Francisco 49ers from 1990 to 1995). The Fantasy draft was held January 27 at 7:30 P.M. EST on ESPN2 at Wheeler Army Airfield in Wahiawa, Hawaii as part of an extension to the NFL's military appreciation campaign.

2017 Los Angeles Rams season

The 2017 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 80th season in the National Football League, the 81st overall, the 51st in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the first under new head coach Sean McVay as well as a new coaching staff. The Rams improved on their 4–12 record from the previous season. With a win over the Arizona Cardinals, the Rams ended a decade-long drought and clinched their first winning season since 2003 and first playoff appearance since 2004, when the club was based in St. Louis. The team played a game in London, England at Twickenham Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 as one of the NFL London Games.

For the second consecutive year, the Rams started out in first place in the NFC West with a 3–1 record. The Los Angeles Rams also scored 107 points in the first three games of the season, the second highest in franchise history and a league leader. Furthermore, the team went from being dead last in total offense the previous season with an NFL-low 224 points to becoming the highest scoring team in the league in 2017 with an average of 29.9 points per game and 478 total points scored - tops in both categories. On Christmas Eve, the Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 27–23 in a Super Bowl XXXIV rematch to clinch the NFC West for the first time since 2003 and their first playoff berth since 2004. This was also their first division title as the Los Angeles Rams since the 1985 season. Their promising season came to a end as they were defeated by the No. 6 seed and defending NFC Champions, the Atlanta Falcons, 13–26 in the Wild Card Round. Coincidentally in the Rams' last playoff game in 2005, they were also beaten by the Falcons.

2018 Los Angeles Rams season

The 2018 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 81st in the National Football League, their 82nd overall, their 52nd in the Greater Los Angeles Area and their second under head coach Sean McVay.

The Rams improved on their 11–5 record from the 2017 season, which ended the franchise's 12-year playoff drought. Los Angeles was victorious in its first eight games of the season (the team's best start since 1969) before the Rams suffered their first loss to the Saints in Week 9.

After defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 54–51 in Week 11 in the third highest-scoring game in NFL history, and a 30–16 victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 13, the Rams clinched the NFC West for the second consecutive year, giving Los Angeles its first back-to-back division titles since the 1978 and 1979 seasons. With that victory, the Rams clinched consecutive playoff berths for the first time since the 2003 and 2004 seasons, when the franchise was based in St. Louis. Following wins over the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers in the final two weeks, the Rams ended the regular season tied with New Orleans for the NFL's best record at 13–3. The 13 regular season victories was tied for the second-most in franchise history and is the most-ever wins in a season for a Los Angeles-based professional football team.

The Rams started their playoff run by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 30–22 in the Divisional round, their first home playoff win in Los Angeles since 1985 and their first home playoff win since 2001 against the Packers while they were based in St. Louis. This would be their first NFC Championship Game appearance since 2001, and their first as the Los Angeles Rams since 1989 (and first while playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1979). The Rams then defeated the number 1 seed New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game 26–23 in overtime, a game which featured a controversial no-call on an apparent pass interference by Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman. By defeating the Saints, the Rams advanced to Super Bowl LIII, where they faced the New England Patriots. The two teams previously met in Super Bowl XXXVI, in which the Patriots defeated the then-St. Louis Rams 20–17. This is the Rams' first Super Bowl appearance since that game and first based in Los Angeles since Super Bowl XIV in 1979. Playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, also where the Rams won their first Super Bowl title in 2000. The Rams lost to the Patriots 13–3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history.

8th Annual NFL Honors

The 2019 NFL Honors was an awards presentation by the National Football League that honored its best players from the 2018 NFL season. It was held on February 2, 2019 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and pre–recorded for same–day broadcast on CBS in the United States at 9:00 PM/8:00 PM CT. 5 Finalists went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Steve Harvey hosted the ceremony.

Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award

The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press (AP) to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every National Football League (NFL) season. It has been awarded since 1971. The winner is decided by votes from a panel of 50 AP sportswriters who regularly cover the NFL. Since 2011, the award has been presented at the annual NFL Honors ceremony the day before the Super Bowl, along with other AP awards, such as the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award, AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and AP NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

Lawrence Taylor and J. J. Watt are the only three-time winners of the award. Joe Greene, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Ray Lewis, and Aaron Donald have each won it twice. Taylor is the only player to win the award as a rookie, doing so in 1981. In 2008, James Harrison became the only undrafted free agent to win the award. White is the only player to win the award with two different teams, winning in 1987 with the Philadelphia Eagles and again with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. Watt is the only player to win the award unanimously, receiving 50 out of 50 first place votes in 2014. He was also a near-unanimous winner in 2012 as he earned 49 out of 50 votes.As of the end of the 2018 NFL season, linebackers have won the award 16 times, more than any other position. A defensive end has won thirteen times, followed by nine defensive tackles, five cornerbacks, and five safeties. Only two winners of the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award have also won the AP's Most Valuable Player Award for the same season: defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971 for the Minnesota Vikings and linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986 for the New York Giants. Aaron Donald is the incumbent holder of the award, winning it for the second consecutive year following the 2018 NFL season.

Chuck Bednarik Award

The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the defensive player in college football as judged by the Maxwell Football Club to be the best in the United States. The award is named for Chuck Bednarik, a former college and professional American football player. Voters for the Maxwell College Awards are NCAA head college football coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club, and sportswriters and sportscasters from across the country. The Maxwell Club is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the presentations are held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Club members are given voting privileges for the award.

Joe Thuney

Joseph Thuney ( TOO-nee; born November 16, 1992) is an American football guard for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at NC State.

List of Los Angeles Rams first-round draft picks

The Los Angeles Rams, a professional American football team based in Los Angeles, joined the National Football League (NFL) as Cleveland Rams in 1937. The Rams began playing in 1936 as a charter member of the second American Football League. Although the NFL granted membership to the same owner, the NFL considers it a separate entity. In 1946, Rams' owner Dan Reeves, fed up with poor attendance at Cleveland Stadium, moved the Rams to Los Angeles, and the team played there from 1946 to 1979. Before his death in 1979, later Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom planned a move within the Los Angeles metropolitan area to Anaheim, using the venue now known as Angel Stadium, and his widow and successor Georgia Frontiere went through with the move in 1980, with the team still officially representing Los Angeles. The Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and renamed the team St. Louis Rams. In January 2016, the Rams and the NFL announced that the team would return to Los Angeles. The team now plays in its original L.A. venue, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while awaiting the 2020 opening of its new stadium in suburban Inglewood.The Rams first participated in the 1938 NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, more commonly known as the NFL Draft. The Rams did have a 1937 pick, but it was picked by the NFL for an expansion team and later the Rams were later admitted into the league before the 1937 season. Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second–worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.The Rams' first selection as an NFL team was Johnny Drake, a fullback from Purdue in 1937. The Rams have selected the number one overall five times, drafting Corbett Davis in 1938, Billy Cannon in 1960, Terry Baker in 1963, Orlando Pace in 1997, and Sam Bradford in 2010 The Rams have drafted second overall seven times and the third overall two times. Five eventual Hall of Famers were selected by the Rams: Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Jack Youngblood, and Eric Dickerson. The team's most recent first round selections are Greg Robinson, an offensive tackle from Auburn, Aaron Donald, a defensive tackle from Pittsburgh, Todd Gurley, a running back from Georgia, and Jared Goff, a quarterback from California.

Los Angeles Rams awards

This page details awards won by the Los Angeles Rams American football team. The Rams were formerly based in St. Louis (1995–2015) and Cleveland (1936–1942, 1944–1945), as well as Los Angeles (1946–1994, 2016–present).

Los Angeles Rams statistics

This page details statistics about the Los Angeles Rams American football franchise, formerly the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Rams.

National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Pittsburgh Panthers football

The Pittsburgh Panthers football program is the intercollegiate football team of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Traditionally the most popular sport at the university, Pitt football has played at the highest level of American college football competition, now termed the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, since the beginning of the school's sponsorship of the sport in 1890. As of the 2013 season, Pitt competes as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Pitt has claimed nine national championships and is among the top 20 college football programs in terms of all-time wins. Its teams have featured many coaches and players notable throughout the history of college football, including, among all schools, the fifth most College Football Hall of Fame inductees, the twelfth most consensus All-Americans, and the third most Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. The Panthers are currently coached by Pat Narduzzi. Pitt plays home games at Heinz Field which they share with the National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers and utilize the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Performance Complex as their practice facility.

Legend
Led the league
NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Bold Career high
Los Angeles Rams current roster
Active roster
Free agents
Aaron Donald—awards and honors

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