USC Football: Rams Rookie DT Gives Eric Henderson Credit For DROY Consideration

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New USC Trojans co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, Eric Henderson, took to social media to acknowledge a Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman’s achievement of being named a finalist for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie Of The Year award with a simple hashtag and a cute puppy emoji. Henderson was the defensive line coach for the Rams from 2019-2023 before taking a job with USC Football.

Dawg Work for USC Football

Henderson uses the phrase Dawg Work as his ethos in coaching. At Rams training camp there was a Dawg Work sign hanging from a fenced-off portion where the defensive linemen do sled work. It encapsulates not only the down-and-dirty work done by football’s trench players but also emphasizes the importance of putting in work day in and day out. As another Rams lineman, Aaron Donald, puts it, “Work, works.”

Turner quoted the post and gave his former coach all the credit for putting him in the position to win such an auspicious award.

Proof of the quality of coaching that Henderson provided was Turner’s season trajectory. The Rams drafted him in the back half of the third round of the 2023 draft. All the other candidates for the award were first-rounders save for Joey Porter Jr. who was taken with the first pick in the second round. Turner started the year slowly logging one sack and four pressures in the first eight games of the season. In the final nine, he racked up eight sacks and 16 pressures. His nine sacks put him ahead of both Jalen Carter and Will Anderson.

The more time he spent under Henderson’s coaching the more he improved, a positive sign for USC Football.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports