Aaron Donald is the best player on the roster for the Los Angeles Rams. Before leading his team to a Super Bowl victory in January, the heralded defensive tackle had already collected three Defensive Player of the Year awards, eight Pro-Bowl selections, and a litany of comparisons to all-time greats such as J.J. Watt and Lawrence Taylor. Needless to say, an athlete of this caliber doesn't achieve rarified air without tireless dedication and a relentless work ethic. At this point, Donald has become such a decorated athlete that very few people are qualified enough even to question how he goes about preparing for on-field action. Nevertheless, after a recent video clip from Los Angeles Rams' training camp recently surfaced, sports journalists and sports fans alike are doing just that.
On Saturday, during practice, Donald engaged in an odd-looking practice drill, where we could be seen with his right hand around the throat of his teammate, an undrafted rookie named Elijah Garcia. The act itself resembled somewhat of a one-handed choke, where Donald could be seen shoving Garcia's neck back and forth. From the looks of things, the process was very brief, and it didn't appear to harm Garica, but it did occur repeatedly. There's no word on whether or not this was a necessary practice drill, where Donald was trying to teach Garcia the ropes, or a lighthearted form of rookie hazing. But one thing is for sure, no footage ever surfaced of Donald with his hand around the neck of a fellow All-Pro such as Von Miller, Ndamukong Suh, or Andrew Whitworth during a practice drill back when they were teammates, and it doesn't appear that the rookie, Elijah Garcia, got his chance to grab any of the veteran players by their necks in order work out some kinks on his end.
The footage was captured, inadvertently, during an NFL Network segment with Ram's color analyst, Maurice Jones-Drew, and it was posted on Twitter, it sparked several debates about the validity of the "drill."
"This is the ol' Wayne Brady drill, you young bucks might not recognize it," said a Twitter user who seemed to sympathize with Donald's practice regime.
"I've been involved with football for 20+ years and have never seen this drill. Also, 100% chance I'd never let someone do this drill to me, idc who they are lol," argued a separate Twitter user.
As NFL fans debate the legitimacy of the unique exercise displayed in the aforementioned video, it is worth mentioning that choking during the course of NFL gameplay could cause a team to get penalized. Donald was fined $10,815 for choking an offensive lineman named DJ Humpries of the Arizona Cardinals during a playoff game this year. Scroll up to watch the controversial video clip from this past Saturday.