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Antonio Brown’s Impeccable Work Ethic Motivated Aaron Donald to be Legendary



Steelers Rams Aaron Donald

After a decorated 10-year career that included eight first-team All-Pros, 10 Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl championship, three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald announced his retirement two weeks ago.

Donald felt like he accomplished everything that he needed to and was burnt out. He didn’t have the same fire to compete at the level that he’s accustomed to. Throughout his career, Donald was known to be one of the hardest workers in the NFL, often working out at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex with his trainer DeWayne Brown of 2Tenths.

Donald had the internet buzzing in 2018 when a video surfaced of him training with knives. They weren’t real knives, but the fact that Donald was even hand-fighting with a trainer using fake blades got people’s attention. The agility drills that he did made it seem like he was a linebacker instead of a defensive tackle.

In a recent interview with former NFL defensive end Chris Long on the Green Light Podcast, Donald revealed that he got inspiration from former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s crazy workouts. You can say a lot of things about AB, but it can’t be denied that he had an incredible work ethic.

“I’d feel like I had a good workout and then I’d be seeing his stuff … and he’d post a second workout that day … I’d feel like he was outworking me,” Donald said.

Donald’s next step is Canton. He’s a shoo-in as a first-ballot selection for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2029. But he shared that early in his career, he did flirt with the idea of joining the Steelers, which could have changed the franchise’s course.

“Probably my third year in the league, we wasn’t a good team and we started talking about contract stuff,” Donald said on the Green Light Podcast with Chris Long. “And I didn’t know if I was going to stay with the Rams. Because I wanted to win, be with a winning team, so I flirted with the idea a little bit, and maybe I could go home and play for the Steelers.”

After his retirement, Donald addressed the possibility if he would ever come out of retirement and play for his hometown Steelers. Before carving out a Hall of Fame career with the Rams, Donald starred at Penn Hills and Pitt. The notion that he might conclude his career in the Black and Gold has frequently been brought up over the last few years, but Donald doesn’t want to play for another coach other than Sean McVay.

“I love the Rams. I don’t want to retire nowhere else but the Rams. I told Sean when he first got there, as long as you’re the head coach, I wanna continue to be here. I wouldn’t want to be playing for no other coach than that guy,” Donald said.