Eric Weddle Says Rams Can Be ‘Special’ On Defense, Calls Aaron Donald ‘Best Player In The League’

Since Sean McVay took over as Los Angeles Rams head coach before the 2017 season, he and general manager Les Snead have stockpiled veterans on top of homegrown talent to give defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as much as he needs to bolster his team’s defense.

Grizzled vets like Connor Barwin, Ndamukong Suh and Aqib Talib have been part of the Rams’ roster in recent years, and Talib remains as part of a talented cornerback tandem with Marcus Peters. Last spring, the Rams added Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews, two more former Pro Bowlers joining a championship contender in the twilight of their careers.

Weddle is expected to take a leadership role in the team’s defense, putting his sharp football mind and years of experience with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens to use. However, the focal point of L.A.’s attack will, of course, remain up front, with superstar Aaron Donald leading the way on the defensive line.

Weddle recently gave his take on Donald, the rest of the Rams’ defense and his place among them, per

“Just continue to strive to be the best and push the guys and earn my role and spot on this team, and go out there and lead this defense. We have a chance to be special on defense with the pieces that we have. Obviously, starting with AD, one of the best players in the NFL at all positions and now being able to scheme up and do things to help him to give him an advantage even more so to let him wreak havoc. He’s an amazing talent, he’s an amazing person the way he works every day. There’s a reason he’s the best player in the league. There’s a lot to be excited about and I’m just going to fit right in, do my job and win a bunch of ballgames.”

Weddle will replace LaMarcus Joyner as the Rams’ starting free safety after Joyner had an underwhelming year under the franchise tag in 2018. Joyner signed with the Oakland Raiders in free agency.

However, the Rams will still return several key members from last season’s defense that helped the franchise to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2002, including Donald, Talib, Peters, Dante Fowler Jr., Cory Littleton, Michael Brockers, Nickell Robey-Coleman and John Johnson III.

Additionally, the Rams used their first selection of the 2019 NFL draft on University of Washington safety Taylor Rapp to provide depth at the position behind Weddle and Johnson.

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