NFL

I will do everything in my power to get 'leader' Donald a Super Bowl, says Miller

By Sports Desk January 31, 2022

Aaron Donald was hailed by his Los Angeles Rams teammates after they overcame a 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year gave an emotional speech on the sideline as the Rams trailed 17-7 in the NFC Championship Game.

Los Angeles subsequently rallied for a 20-17 victory that sent them to a second Super Bowl in the space of four years.

They lost to the New England Patriots to conclude the 2018 season and generational talent Donald remains without a ring.

Pass-rusher Von Miller, who tasted Super Bowl glory with the Denver Broncos in 2015 and joined the Rams in a mid-season trade, is desperate to get the team's inspirational figure over the hump.

With seven first-team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances to go with his three DPOY crowns, Miller believes defensive lineman Donald is on the brink of making it a complete career.

"It was great," Miller said to ESPN about Donald's message to the defense.

"He's been Aaron Donald - vocally, physically, emotionally. That's what leaders do. He's a great leader. 

"Like I said, a Super Bowl is all he needs. He could walk off into the sunset, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make that happen for him."

Donald pressured Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the decisive interception to linebacker Travin Howard that ensured the Rams would keep their three-point lead.

Matthew Stafford will be QB for the Rams in the Super Bowl this time around after Jared Goff played under center in that Patriots loss.

Stafford would have preferred to give the defense a seven-point lead to preserve at the end, but still had faith in a dominant unit.

"Wish we'd have put seven up there, it would have felt a whole lot better sitting on the sideline, but I've got so much trust in our defense, so much faith in those guys," he said.

"They went out there and did their thing and got the win.

"I'm so proud of this group. We've had high expectations all year, done nothing but everything in our power to try to meet those. 

"It's a terrific group we have in there. The game wasn't easy. It wasn't perfect in some spots, but we found a way to win and that's what it's all about. We've got some more work left to do."

Safety Eric Weddle had been retired for two years before making a comeback that will end with a fairy-tale Super Bowl appearance against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

"We were down and out," the veteran said. 

"AD rallied us. He asked us to give more. He said to let us be the reason we win this game. We knew what it meant to him."

And defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was also full of praise for Donald.

"That's what Aaron does," said. "He was vocal all week about what this game meant to him. 

"He calmed everybody down on the sideline and said to do right longer. There was no bigger moment [than the play on the interception]."

The Rams had lost their previous six meetings with the Niners but will now host Super Bowl LVI, looking for their first title since 1999, when they played in St. Louis.

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