Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald faced Tom Brady twice when the veteran quarterback was still playing for the New England Patriots. In their first game against each other, Brady bested Donald and the Rams in Week 13 of the 2016 season via 26-10 score. In that game, Brady completed 33 of 46 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown with no interception. The Patriots offensive line provided solid protection for Brady as they yielded no sack to Donald and company in that game. In Super Bowl LIII, Brady again got the better of the Rams as he led the Patriots to a 13-3 win for his sixth Super Bowl ring.

Brady completed just 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards with no touchdown and an interception and was sacked once for a loss of nine yards in that outing. On Monday Night Football, Donald will face Brady for the third time, but the latter will be in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform. The Buccaneers are a 3.5-point favorite over the Rams in early betting, while most experts think Tampa Bay will emerge victorious over Los Angeles. The Buccaneers currently have a 7-3 mark while the Rams carry a 6-3 record.

Donald wants Rams to play smart vs. Brady

When asked by media regarding Brady, Donald said the veteran quarterback has been playing for a long time, so he knows the game and knows how to control the game.

"You have to be smart when playing a quarterback like that," said Donald as transcribed by the author from the video posted on the Rams official website. In his first two games against Brady, Donald said it is difficult to get a clean hit on the veteran quarterback due to his ability to quickly get the ball out of his hand, per a report by Rams staff writer Stu Jackson.

"He's not going to let you get a clean hit on him," he said, adding that pass rushers should get their hands up to break up those passes. Donald also stressed that it's important to stick to the game plan when playing Brady. Earlier, Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley said playing Brady is stressful and a great challenge, especially now that he's surrounded with talents like Pro Bowler wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski and rushers Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette.

Brady pays compliment to Donald

During his Friday media session, Brady also lauded the Rams defense, calling it a top-10 defense in every category, per a report by Cameron DaSilva of USA Today. Brady also praised Donald, saying he's as good as there is probably ever played in the National Football League at D-line." The veteran quarterback added that Donald is an incredible player, armed with explosiveness, quickness, and power. Despite the double- and even triple-teams thrown at him by their opponents, Brady noted that Donald never lets down and continues to pursue his job. "Hard-working guy, you can tell football means a lot to him," Brady emphasized.