If the Los Angeles Rams are going to repeat as Super Bowl champs, they’ll need their stars to be better than ever before.
Last season, the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl. It largely happened because general manager Les Snead sold off draft picks for established stars, and after a few fortuitous losses from other juggernauts, the Rams did their job and raised the Lombardi Trophy.
If they are going to be the first repeat champion since the 2003-04 New England Patriots, they’ll rely more than ever on those acquired stars.
This offseason, Snead continued to bring in high-profile names including linebacker Bobby Wagner and receiver Allen Robinson. However, to make room, the Rams also traded away receiver Robert Woods and lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth to retirement. In free agency, Los Angeles saw edge rusher Von Miller, guard Austin Corbett, corner Darious Williams and defensive tackle Sebastian Austin-Day leave for other buildings, while receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains on the open market.
In short, much of the supporting, second-tier talent along with a future Hall of Famer in Miller are gone. It’ll be difficult to continue being an elite team without former depth stepping up, while the stars carry an even heavier burden.
The good news? Donald, the best of all Los Angeles’ stars, believes he’s only getting better. He talked about his continued ascension on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game Podcast this week, per NFL.com:
“Yeah, I’m faster. I was just with my guy Wednesday training and I always ask after I work, ‘What do you think?’ And he [said] back, ‘You’ve got about three, five more years in you with how you’re moving.’ So, I feel good, I really do feel good. I feel quick, I feel explosive. I don’t feel like I’m slowing down — if anything I feel like I’m getting faster. I feel like I’m in better shape. I keep telling people, I get better with age, man. I don’t slow down. I just feel like I’m getting that much stronger. I look better with age and all that.”
If Donald and quarterback Matthew Stafford can either maintain their levels of continue growing, Los Angeles will be right where it wants to be come January and February. If not, the Rams will struggle to recapture their brilliant magic from this past winter.