Rams’ Aaron Donald takes on foes of a different stripe

TV channels like to focus a camera on Aaron Donald while the Rams defense fights one, two, sometimes three blockers on their way to a quarterback.

Maybe they should train a mic on Donald, because the NFL’s top pass rusher argues with his other enemies, the officials.

He hinted at the tenor of those little talks on Wednesday when asked if he is lobbying referees on the field.

“I talk to them all the time,” said Donald vehemently before the Rams (7-3) started practicing at SoFi Stadium on Sunday for their game against the San Francisco 49ers (4-6).

‘I say,’ You need to see that waiting call. They say they don’t see it. I’m like, ‘Man, a man has me around my neck, grabbing and pulling my shirt. I just beat a man with a pure rush. ”

Donald returned to his usual even tone.

“It’s okay. Sooner or later I’ll get one,” he said, meaning he had a flag in his favor.

In the Rams’ victories over Seattle and Tampa Bay, Donald played two games in a row for the first time in his great career without picking up a bag or tackle. That doesn’t bother the Rams, as he disrupts opponent fouls in a way that might not show up on the stat sheets.

According to the Rams, the linemen who blocked Donald have not been drafted in the past few games. That does bother them, even though holding penalties have dropped sharply across the league this season, as the NFL wants to speed up the game by only flagging “clear and obvious” fouls.

“That says people are just blocking him (Donald) upright, which we know is not the case,” Rams defense coordinator Brandon Staley said Wednesday.

It’s just like Shaquille O’Neal when he was playing. This guy, I think, people take for granted how good he is, and we need to make sure people see the game as they need to. ”

Has Hack-a-Shaq Become Hack-a-Donald?

The most blatant case of an opponent who decided it was worth risking a waiting call to slow Donald down came during a third quarter game with the Rams rushing Tom Brady of the Buccaneers into the end zone. The play was controversial because what the Rams thought was a Brady fumble was considered an incomplete pass. Reruns also show Donovan Smith’s left tackle with his arm around Donald’s neck.

“I felt like (Morgan) Fox got the ball out, so I think that should have been a bag anyway,” said Donald. “And if it wasn’t, it should have been a watch call, it should have been a safety cause he was holding me in the end zone.”

Rams coach Sean McVay said some plays with potential wait times were among the plays the team routinely submits to the league office for “clarification”.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said the Rams’ complaints may be valid.

“Aaron is such a good player, guys are doing everything they can to block him for a while,” said Shanahan. “And he’s such a strong player, I’m sure there are times when guys grab him and it’s hard for referees to notice because he’s tearing off.”

Shanahan saw no relapse in Donald’s performance.

“I wish,” he said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for that, and it doesn’t seem like it’s happening.”

Donald, 29, ranks third in the league with nine sacks and leads Pro Bowl votes in defensive tackle. (Rams punter Johnny Hekker also leads the vote on his position.)

Donald sounded inclined to drop the flags wherever they can.

“Talking about it now isn’t going to do anything,” he said. “I’m just going to play.”

HONORED

Receiver Robert Woods was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his 12 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Tampa Bay win, making him the fifth Ram to win a weekly honor this year.

Micah Kiser (week 2), Aaron Donald (week 5) and Leonard Floyd (week 10) were defensive player of the week, and punt Johnny Hekker (week 7) was special teams player of the week and special teams player of the week. Month for October.

The Week 11 prize could have gone to receiver Cooper Kupp, whose 12 catches for 145 yards made it the first time two Rams had 10 or more catches in the same game. The difference was probably Woods’ touchdown and two other key plays. Big wins set a field goal end point and a flying start to the winning stage.

REMARKS

Inside linebacker Micah Kiser has a knee injury and Sean McVay said he would be “very surprised” if he plays on Sunday. McVay said he wasn’t sure how many games Kiser will miss. Kiser leads the Rams with 77 tackles. Troy Reeder would fill in for him. … Tight end Tyler Higbee (elbow) would also have sat if the Rams had had full practice on Wednesday, the injury report said. … Outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was assigned to return to training after four weeks on an injured reserve with a sprained left elbow. Brandon Staley said the coaches will make sure Obo is fully fit before activating him. …

Staley said defensive end Derek Rivers, claimed to be remote from New England, was acquired to add “depth, insurance” in the outer pass rush and “a bigger body that can run” for special teams. The defensive coordinator said he and other Rams coaches liked Rivers as they explored him before the 2017 draft, when the Patriots took him into the third round. … Ram’s cornerback Jalen Ramsey bought $ 20,000 worth of Vons gift cards that were distributed at a Thanksgiving turkey distribution in South LA and Inglewood. The 10th annual event was hosted by 2nd Call, an organization that seeks to help parolees with life skills and personal development.

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