The Los Angeles Rams wasted no time revamping their offense with the acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason.
Their performance on defense last year combined with the addition of Stafford has led to high expectations going into the 2021 NFL season. Of course, they are not the only team in the NFC West that has managed to make a splash.
The Arizona Cardinals made headlines with the signing of defensive end J.J. Watt. Despite Watt’s arrival, Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers feels this does not change the hierarchy in the division.
Brockers took a playful jab at Watt by suggesting that Aaron Donald is the real No. 99 these days, per TMZ Sports:
“You already know that question, bro. You been known that question. 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. That’s all we know.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Brockers’ comments from both an individual and group standpoint. He is able to talk the talk because the Rams’ defense and tackle Aaron Donald have been walking the walk.
Donald joined Watt and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor this season as the only players in NFL history to win Defensive Player of the Year honors three times. The newest Cardinal even suggested that his brother/Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt was more deserving of the award after it had been announced.
It is safe to say that there is not any sense of bad blood between Watt and some of the more notable players on the Rams. Regardless, his newfound status as an NFC West rival indicates that could very well change soon once these teams meet twice next season.
Brockers will play an integral role in helping this defense maintain its level of excellence from last season. Of course, having a player of Donald’s caliber leading the way will continue to pay major dividends for the rest of the group.