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Kobie Turner on Aaron Donald retirement: Don't need to be anyone other than who I am

Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner had a standout rookie season, but there will be a big difference when he takes the field to kick off his second year in the NFL.

Aaron Donald lined up next to Turner last season, but the three-time defensive player of the year won't be around to occupy the attention of offenses in 2024. Donald retired from the NFL, which means that Turner will now be the leading man up front for the Rams.

On Monday, Turner said at a press conference that it would be "very easy to put a lot of that pressure on myself" to make up for Donald's absence. He said he's spoken to head coach Sean McVay about not letting that pressure overwhelm him as he prepares for the season because the key is to prepare the same way he did in his rookie season.

"It's definitely a difficult inner battle for sure," Turner said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of TheAthletic.com. "It's going back again to the things that allowed me to be successful last year, and that is again having that growth mindset and attacking each day individually. Also, being able to have guys like coach McVay — he has pulled me aside, and we have had discussions about that too. I don't need to be anyone else other than who I am. I don't need to be chasing any numbers, anything like that."

Turner proved he belongs in the NFL during his rookie season. Proving he can thrive without Donald alongside him would be a positive development for the Rams in 2024.