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Ram Spirit Animals: Defensive Edition

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Don’t worry, we’ll have real football to cover soon. This is serious journalism, however, and we put some thought into this three-part series. Spirit animals (petroni) are the keystone to winning football games, as you all know.

Aaron Donald dolphin
Clearly Donald’s spirit animal.

Before each play this season, each Rams defensive player will mutter “Expecto Patronus!”, erupting his spirit animal/petronus into existence. The purpose of a petronus is to destroy the opponent in a metaphysical way. This is part of new DC Wade Phillips’ scheme, and is also being implemented in OC Matt LaFleur’s and ST Coach Bones’ schemes. It’s the next great thing in football.

Some petroni are impressive (Hippopotamus!), while others are less impressive but still VERY useful (Carpenter Ant!). Let’s go through the starting defense to see which spirit animal/petronus we can expect to be brought to life during a football play.

Preseason depth chart - Defense (via RamsNFL.com)

DE Aaron Donald

Dolphin

Aaron Donald dolphin
Behind that smile looms a darkness

This is obvious. We saw his patronus out and about a few years ago, protecting him from a group of sharks in open water (photographic evidence shown).

Dolphins are sleek, smart, and friendly on the outside, but smolderingly intense and highly calculated on the inside. They give the appearance of gentle aquatic mammal but can snap in an instant, a piercing battle cry echoing across the water as they charge an unsuspecting threat and posterize it.

Do not f*** with dolphins.

NT Michael Brockers

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can move stuff

If you need to stand your ground, dwarf your surroundings and lift things up to 7 times your weight, this is your spirit animal. From Allison Pest Control:

Carpenter ants are the largest ants in North America with super-sized strength to match their super size. Dwarfing other ants, these wood-destroying ants can reach a length of 3/4 inch and lift up to seven times their own weight with their powerful jaws. In human terms that would be like lifting a large dairy cow with your teeth!

That sounds like what Brockers throws out of his body in the 1-gap, amirite?

DE Dominique Easley

Alligator

That’s Blaine Gabbert in its jaws.

I mean, honestly, what else would he be? Once you go to the University of Florida, your patronus is set for life. The same scientists that invented Gatorade found a way to make the spirit animal of each football player into this formidable reptile.

OLB Robert Quinn

Anaconda

Robert Quinn’s patronus eyes you with indifference. You pose no threat.

Robert Quinn is clearly not made of human materials, as his body composition, movement and plasticity can only be classified as “somewhere between salt water taffy and molasses”. His spirit animal is deadly yet mesmerizing. Anacondas move gracefully, unhurried, yet are seemingly all around you before you know it. They slither, contort, slip and glide into and out of the streams, unnoticed and undetected. Until it’s over.

Run. RUN YOU FOOLS.

OLB Connor Barwin

Cockatoo

Hey girl, you like my do?

It all begins with the hair, the wings and the ‘tude. Like Barwin, his patronus has a luxurious crown of carefully groomed richness and ample enthusiasm. He bobs and weaves, employing head fakes and misdirection. His bill is sharp and can crack nuts with the best of them.

Yeah, right Les like I’m gonna let you out-hair me

LB Alec Ogletree

Ghost Crab

Just try to take that angle on me bro

Alec Ogletree is a sideline to sideline predator, shuffling and shifting laterally, always keeping his eyes up and on the lookout. His patronus, the Ghost Crab, is usually dispatched before the play begins, so as to survey the landscape and get into optimal position.

Unfortunately, it is unable to move backwards and forwards, limiting its impact on some plays. But, do not be fooled: you are not getting by it without severe penalties.

This smile belies a stone cold assassin.

Los Angeles Rams Media Availability
If this Snow Crab gets out, you better hope it’s not angry
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

LB Mark Barron

Australian Funnel Web Spider

Barron’s spirit animal literally is ready to throw down at any time. It must be kept under lock and key until game day, or else all hell breaks loose. It is aggressive, mean-spirited, savage and above all, it has no regard for breathing organisms. It will lash out at the slightest disturbance and wrap up targets with textbook form tackles.

Here is footage of the patronus during one of last year’s games:

LCB Trumaine Johnson

Praying Mantis

Hi, I’m just eating Calvin Johnson’s patronus

There’s a reason why Tru is a good, sometimes great, press corner: his spirit animal is a complete badass with its front appendages and capable of engulfing practically anything that moves:

Praying mantises have those iconic raptorial front legs which allow them to capture animals and grasp them during a meal. Their primary prey consists of bugs and spiders, but they’ve also been observed to eat small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, salamanders, and snakes. More infrequently, praying mantises have also been seen munching on the odd bird, but it wasn’t known if these were isolated incidents, or a hunting behavior specific to a select group of praying mantises. The new study, co-authored by James Van Remsen from Louisiana State University and Martin Nyffeler from the University of Basel, now shows that this bird-eating behavior exists worldwide among praying mantises and that it’s definitely a thing that praying mantises do.

HOLD ON. These things EAT BIRDS NOW.

At outside cornerback, Tru’s patronus is clearly kept far away from the other Rams’ patroni for fear of complete annihilation.

Kayvon Webster

Hyena

Webster is a joyful, fun-loving player and his spirit animal is no less entertaining. Last year, his patronus got out and began to chat with fans instead of getting lined up:

Thankfully it remembered it was in a game and chowed down on an unsuspecting slot receiver.

It’s not afraid of larger receivers, either, and can handle itself:

Generally, hyenas are known to drive off larger predators, like lions, from their kills, despite having a reputation in popular culture for being cowardly.

I’m very much looking forward to hearing that sinister laughter echo in the Coliseum.

FS Lamarcus Joyner

Hippopotamus

It’s not the size of the man, but the size of his spirit

Joyner may be 5’8 and less than 200 pounds, but his spirit animal is 10 times his size. A roaring hippopotamus materializing from a smallish football player is a sight to see, indeed.

Like Joyner, his patronus is territorial, packs a huge punch and is so dangerous that even the most lethal of predators are terrified of it. Unsuspecting receivers who DARE to enter his territory will find a heavily fortified monster.

Here’s footage of a tight end running up the seam only to be cut off by his spirit animal:

KEEP AWAY. GET OUT.

SS Maurice Alexander

Bighorn Sheep

Alexander’s spirit animal yelps its battle cry

This is coincidental, right? It is no mere coincidence, it is fate.

The moment Alexander worked at the Edward Jones Dome, his patronus was sealed. He has it in his blood and bones and every fiber of his being. The first time his spirit animal was burst forth, he was reborn.

His patronus launches itself headfirst into piles of unsuspecting antagonizers, with little regard for its own safety or future. The clash of its blows can be heard round the Coliseum, as it lays waste to those who were foolish enough to take it head on.

It is fearless, proud and unwavering. It will defend its territory with a savage will.

IT IS A RAM.