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Despite Impressive 2017, Gurley Still Looking to Improve

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  • Despite Impressive 2017, Gurley Still Looking to Improve

    Despite Impressive 2017, Gurley Still Looking to Improve
    Posted Jun 14, 2018
    Kristen Lago
    Rams Writer/Reporter

    As the Rams capped their 2018 offseason program, running back Todd Gurley was understandably excited for the upcoming summer break.

    “Definitely been looking forward to this day just to have a little time off,” he said Wednesday.
    “We come back and then the real games begin.”

    After recording his best season to date in 2017, the Georgia product approached the offseason with a similar level of tenacity — excited to improve bit by bit each day. And while that might sound a bit surprising to most, considering Gurley was near perfect on field last year, his focus has continued to revolve around perfecting the details.

    “Just working all around from alignment, assignment, depth in routes, whatever it is — footwork or making sure I’m on the same page as my linemen,” he said. “So, just trying to work on all the little small things and stuff.”

    Entering OTAs and minicamp under the same offensive scheme and head coach has aided the All-Pro running back. Like many of the players entering Year 2 under Sean McVay, Gurley said the level of comfort in the system has made this offseason a bit easier than the last.

    “Obviously we know the plays and we’re still adding stuff and what not, but it’s been a long offseason,” Gurley said. “A lot of stuff you kind of forget and then it kinda clicks back and you remember. We changed a lot of stuff, but for the most part we feel pretty confident just knowing that it’s the same offense.”

    Despite the increased confidence, Gurley maintains there is always room for improvement. And though making individual objectives for the upcoming season isn’t for him, he does have one goal top of mind.

    “The main goal is the team goal — just try to go out there and give my team whatever coach asks me to do,” Gurley explained. “I don’t worry about goals or anything like that. Like I said, just try to come out here and get better everyday. Whatever happens, happens as long as you know you put in the best effort to be in a good position.”

  • #2
    I can’t imagine an improved Todd Gurley. But bring it on please.
    “Oh, 100 percent,” Donald said. “I feel like the words, ‘Thank you,’ ain’t enough. You’ve got to show it... Instead of saying thank you — show it.”


    Related Topics


    • Nick
      Todd Gurley has 'been loving' Sean McVay's offense
      by Nick
      Todd Gurley has 'been loving' Sean McVay's offense
      By Jeremy Bergman
      Published: July 8, 2017 at 03:25 p.m. Updated: July 9, 2017 at 08:28 a.m.

      Todd Gurley's first season in Hollywood was next to nightmarish.

      After a promising rookie campaign, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year saw his yards per carry average dip to 3.2 and barely saw any opportunities to break big runs behind an ineffective offensive line. It also didn't help that the Rams quarterbacks were the least feared signal-callers west of Florham Park, inspiring opposing linebackers and safeties to crowd the box and limit Gurley's options.

      But with new coach Sean McVay at the helm, Gurley is rejuvenated with hopes that his second go-around in the Coliseum will bear better results.

      "I hope so," Gurley said, when asked by Zig Fracassi on SiriusXM NFL Radio if he expects Los Angeles' offense to be more "Gurley-friendly" in 2017. "Yeah, Coach. Tell Coach we want it Todd-friendly."

      Gurley added that he has "definitely been loving" McVay's style of offense, which for now has the back focusing on daily preparation and being a "situational master." NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal noted during minicamp that the Rams were moving the third-year back all around the offensive formation: in motion out of the backfield, outside the hashes, etc.

      Inspiring the tailback this offseason is the development of second-year quarterback Jared Goff, who had shown in minicamp to be a more than competent option at QB.

      "Oh, he's been getting better. Obviously, he didn't go No. 1 for no reason. He has the talent, and he's just been getting better," Gurley gushed. "He definitely had a great OTAs, great minicamp. Coaches have been doing a good job with him. Just his preparation, him being there all day, he's been great so far, man, so I'm definitely looking forward to it."

      The running back's comments this summer are a far cry from what Gurley was saying just seven months ago about the state of L.A.'s attack. Following the Rams' loss to Atlanta in Week 14 -- a defeat that proved career-fatal for then-coach Jeff Fisher -- Gurley mused that his unit looked like a "middle school offense out there." In January, he told NFL Network's Rich Eisen that the Rams' 4-12 campaign was "like a nightmare."

      It's still summer, and nary a Ram has yet to put on pads. But it sounds as if Gurley has already graduated from last year's middle-school nightmare to a professional dream.

      After all, as Gurley puts it, "It can't get any worse than it did last year."
      -07-09-2017, 07:01 AM
    • Nick
      Where in the World is Todd Gurley?
      by Nick
      Forgive my weak attempt at a Carmen Sandiego reference, but I think the question needs to be asked again and again until we have an answer.

      Through the regular season, Gurley averaged 18.2 rushes per game and four receptions per game. In the playoffs, he rushed the ball ten times a game on average and caught four passes in three contests.

      This offense is built through Gurley. The strength of the running game is what makes play action so effective. Finding ways to get the ball in Gurley's hands should be priority number one for anyone making decisions about this offense, yet it seems like after his injury, and more specifically after the Dallas playoff win, Gurley just disappeared from the gameplan.

      There are some people across the internet - I know because I've seen the responses in the Twitter feeds of those who cover the Rams - who are abandoning ship on Gurley. I think it's way too soon for that kind of overreaction. But it really does make you wonder, in the biggest game of his career, why Sean McVay didn't do more to make Gurley a focal point of the gameplan.

      The Rams insist he's completely healthy, and Gurley does as well. I wouldn't be surprised, though, to find out in a couple of weeks that he had some nagging injury that needs cleaned up over the offseason. Still, it would be rather baffling if that's the case after so much insistence to the contrary.

      It kind of makes me wonder if there's something else going on behind the scenes, some kind of personal issue that Gurley is going through and the Rams have been trying to help him by easing his workload or not putting too much on his plate. I have no evidence or anything to base this off of, aside from just the mere speculation that will occur when someone who normally is so heavily part of a gameplan gets left behind so strangely.

      Either way, the Rams need to spend this offseason looking in the mirror and figuring out why, when all the chips were on the table, they kept their stud workhorse on the sidelines as much as they did. Maybe Gurley just needs an offseason away from football to get back to his normal self or to recover from whatever ails him. Let's hope that's the case, and we're not looking at the symptoms of a bigger problem here, either for Gurley or McVay....
      -02-04-2019, 04:04 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams' Todd Gurley Focused On Making Mental Adjustment
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams' Todd Gurley focused on making mental adjustment

      Nick Wagoner, ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

      EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Standing on the sidelines as his rookie St. Louis Rams teammates went through the paces of their orientation over the weekend, running back Todd Gurley couldn't help but find himself popping into the occasional huddle.

      As Gurley works on recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, he's going to be limited throughout the team's offseason conditioning program. So while fellow rookie backs Malcolm Brown and Terrence Franks took reps during the two on-field sessions Friday and Saturday, Gurley intently watched and did his best to pick up pieces of information about his new offense.

      "I'm just gaining mental reps, basically just making sure I know what’s going on," Gurley said. "Just listening to the play calls and making sure in my head that I’ve got it down. Just go through the plays in the back by myself that’s always a good thing. Just walking through it while everybody else they have got this whole offense going, I’m in the back trying to make sure I’m on my stuff."

      Having just arrived in St. Louis with his rookie teammates, Gurley is still new to the Rams' playbook and is quick to acknowledge that there's much to learn before he'll be ready to go. Of course, that's only half the battle for Gurley as he goes through what figures to be a strenuous rehab.

      Gurley said he's been running for the past couple of months and can do some other drills like running the ladder but isn't yet cleared to do some of the change of direction drills and other things required of an NFL running back.

      In the meantime, the Rams have a detailed plan of what they want from Gurley in the coming weeks and no intention of forcing him back on the field a single moment before he's ready.

      “He’s in the meetings," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He’s learning the offense. He’s killing the rehab. He’s paying attention in the walk-thrus. He’s meeting his teammates. There were a lot of vets in here on Thursday when the guys got here. He’s excited to be here. He’ll definitely know what to do when he’s able to get out there.”

      As for when that might happen, Gurley doesn't want to venture a guess at this point. He says his mission is to show up on time every day and just set about doing whatever is asked of him in a given day.

      "I would want to be back as soon as possible," Gurley said. "But I’m not a doctor or a therapist so I can’t really tell you when I’ll be back. I’m just taking it day by day really."
      -05-11-2015, 01:53 PM
    • RockinRam
      Gurley on Second NFL Season: 'Like a Nightmare'
      by RockinRam
      • By Chris Wesseling
      • Around the NFL Writer
      • Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 02:53 p.m.
      • Updated: Jan. 24, 2017 at 03:05 p.m.

      After a successful debut campaign as the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, Rams running back Todd Gurley suffered through a miserable second season.

      Mired in an inept Los Angeles attack, Gurley clearly regressed as a playmaker, finishing with the lowest yards-per-carry figure (3.2) of any back with 150 or more rushing attempts.

      In a Tuesday appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Gurley was asked to categorize his 2016 season.

      "Like a nightmare. I still can't believe the season," Gurley said. "It was definitely a tough year, a learning experience for me. To be 4-12 this year? I don't want to feel that feeling again."
      Gurley made news in December, describing the Rams' attack as a "middle school offense" in the wake of back-to-back lopsided losses that led directly to the firing of coach Jeff Fisher.

      Provided a forum to explain that criticism, Gurley clarified that he was speaking strictly of the players rather than the coaching staff.

      "The week before, we played New England. I think we probably scored one touchdown and that was the last two minutes of the game," Gurley explained. "Then we go play Atlanta, and they probably put more points up on us on defense than we actually put up on offense."

      "It was frustrating. I kind of told it like it was, kind of how we looked. It was too many mental errors from everybody, including myself, just turning the ball over. You just can't have that."

      Gurley was gracious enough to let the coaching staff off the hook, but Fisher's offenses were dysfunctional for long stretches of his five-year tenure with the Rams.

      Erupting for more than 125 rushing yards in each of his first four NFL starts, Gurley drew lofty comparisons to Hall of Famers such as Gale Sayers and Eric Dickerson early in his rookie season.

      His rare talent was so obvious at the time that NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger raved, "My mom could scout Todd Gurley."

      Since that torrid start to his career, however, Gurley has reached the century mark just once in 24 games. No other running back since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger has played all of his team's games and averaged as many carries per game as Gurley (17.4) without reaching 100 rushing yards at least once in a season, per NFL Research.

      The Rams have enlisted new head coach Sean McVay to pull No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff out of his rookie-year tailspin. Beyond that quarterback-whisperer responsibility, McVay will have to find a way to free Gurley from the bad habits he picked up behind an offensive line that is too often overwhelmed at the line of scrimmage.

      The talent is there. Can McVay and his staff unlock the potential in 2017?...
      -01-24-2017, 05:32 PM
    • MauiRam
      Todd Gurley could be Los Angeles’ next big star 
      by MauiRam
      By Rich Hammond

      OXNARD >> If, as the saying goes, stars are made, not born, what about those who are relocated?

      Todd Gurley is poised to be the next big thing in Southern California sports. The Rams running back still might go unrecognized walking down local streets, particularly when his trademark shoulder-length dreadlocks are pulled back, but given his recent face time on national TV, that seems certain to change.

      “Carl’s Jr.,” teammate Benny Cunningham said with a wry grin after a recent practice. “That’s his new nickname. You should call him that. He will like that.”

      Gurley has received copious good-natured ribbing for his role as as a burger-pitcher. In the commercial, Gurley — who speaks only a few words — is greeted by an agent and selfie-taking admirers as he coolly strolls through an office while wearing a hat with a generic “L.A.’’ logo.

      “Welcome to California, Todd Gurley,” shouts the agent, played by actor/comedian Jay Mohr.

      And welcome, perhaps, to a void that needs to be filled, that of major Southern California sports icon.

      Kobe Bryant has retired after an iconic 20-year career with the Lakers. Clayton Kershaw arguably is the best pitcher in baseball, but many viewers can’t even watch Dodger games. The Angels’ Mike Trout is highly marketable but seems reticent to display charisma in a public way. The top players for the Kings and Ducks are more likely to pitch products in Canada.

      Chris Paul is a contender, but at best he’s a very good player on a good Clippers team, and that franchise still is attempting to dribble out of the Lakers’ shadow.

      The throne has been vacated, and Gurley can fill it. He’s telegenic, intelligent, community-minded and is coming off a 2015 rookie season in which he rushed for the third-most yards in the NFL (1,106).

      It also doesn’t hurt that Gurley is represented by Roc Nation Sports, the agency founded by music star Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.

      “The region is looking for someone to embrace,” said David Carter, Executive Director of USC’s Sports Business Institute, “and not only because football is back but because Kobe Bryant’s presence will be diminished. And as long as the Dodgers struggle to get their bearings on TV, their stars will not have as constant a light shone on them. All of this makes his timing ideal.”

      There’s only one question: Is this market ready to accept Gurley as a hometown hero? As of now, three months before the start of the NFL season, Gurley remains an outsider, and something of a quiet one.

      Bryant arrived as a teenager and grew up here. Shaquille O’Neal and Manny Ramirez were imported, but announced their arrivals with boisterous enthusiasm. Gurley? He’s been placed gently on Southern California’s porch like a FedEx package from St. Louis. The locals are just beginning to unwrap him.

      It’s a...
      -06-12-2016, 01:54 PM