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Rams Offseason Recon: Running Back


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  • r8rh8rmike
    Why The Rams Made A Huge Mistake Drafting Todd Gurley 10th Overall
    by r8rh8rmike
    Why the Rams Made a Huge Mistake Drafting Todd Gurley 10th Overall

    By Brent Sobleski , NFL Draft Analyst
    Jun 6, 2015

    As the aftertaste of the NFL draft still lingers on the tips of everyone's tongue even after rookie camps and team OTAs, the St. Louis Rams selection of Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick remains a mistake.

    Value, injury history and a lack of a supporting cast in St. Louis made Gurley the wrong decision for the Rams based on where they are in their building process.

    Gurley's overall talent can't (and won't) be denied. The 6'1", 221-pound running back owns a rare combination of explosion and power. During his three seasons in Georgia, Gurley averaged 7.38 yards every time he touched the football. He also added at least one play of 75 yards or longer in each of the campaigns.

    Due to this blend of physical running ability and consistent threat of hitting a home run each time he touched the ball, Gurley was often compared to Adrian Peterson or at least named the best running back prospect since AD left Oklahoma to join the NFL ranks in 2007.

    “It’s a great comparison, but it’s not something I have any idea about," Gurley told's Peter King. "I’ve got a long way to go for that.”

    King even revealed that the Rams rated Gurley as the best overall player in this year's draft class.

    The running back was a difference-maker in Athens, Georgia, and the Rams expect the same from him in an offense that struggled under head coach Jeff Fisher's supervision—the unit hasn't finished better than 23rd in total offense during his three-year tenure.

    Usually, an argument against selecting any running back in the first round—even one as talented as Gurley—starts with a nod toward positional value.

    In today's NFL, workhorse backs are essentially a thing of the past with only two runners—DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy—accepting more than 300 carries last season.

    And the investment needed to obtain a quality running back rarely requires a first-round pick, let alone a top-10 overall selection.

    Last season, none of the league's top-10 rushers was the first running back selected in his particular draft class. Only one of them, Marshawn Lynch, was even a former first-round pick.

    Positional value be damned, one can easily argue a legit top talent supersedes dogmatic views of today's league. Usually, that particular argument would be correct. But there is an instance where overall value as it pertains to an entire draft class can be even more important than simply collecting talent.

    This year's draft class was the deepest in running back talent than it has been in years. It's likely that numerous starters will emerge from multiple rounds.

    While Gurley is clearly very talented,...
    -06-09-2015, 09:25 AM
  • RockinRam
    Rams' C.J. Anderson is as surprised at his relevance as you are
    by RockinRam
    Tim Keown
    ESPN Senior Writer

    WHEN CORTRELLE JAVON Anderson begins to run, when he has his short and fat (his words, not mine) body headed toward the line of scrimmage, you'd be forgiven if you were momentarily alarmed by the idea that he intends to disappear. His shoulders hunch, his torso appears to retract, and his Doric thighs look like they're going to sink into the turf. He's listed at 5-foot-8 (maybe) and 225 pounds (please), so he's low to the ground to start, especially compared with everybody around him. With a football in his hands, he practically tunnels. If it ever becomes possible, and legal, to take a subterranean route down the field, bet on him being the first.

    There is very little in the way of decoration. Football guys describe runners like C.J. Anderson by saying they know how to use the field. He is wide. He is short. He is strong. He has remarkable balance and great vision and employs just enough subtle deception to leave linebackers tackling air. If he can't fool them, he is perfectly content to go directly through them. It is brutal art.
    We don't get surprised much anymore. When we do, the surprises are usually delivered by the people we expect to surprise us. Tom Brady and Drew Breesdefying every known actuarial chart is an ongoing, low-grade surprise. Aaron Donald playing defensive tackle like a turbocharged Jeep retains its capacity to surprise. Patrick Mahomes seems to surprise everyone but himself. But this kind of surprise, The Anderson Surprise, in which a man emerges from nowhere in the most ridiculous and delightful way to become a recurring star in a late-season drama, is rare enough to qualify as preposterous.

    His employment record over the past 10 months looks like this: released by the Broncos after five seasons, more than 3,000 yards, a Pro Bowl and two Super Bowls; signed and released by the Panthers after nine games and 24 carries; signed and released by the Raiders after five days, and no games, in Week 15.

    "Every team I was with had a circumstance for why they felt like they had to get rid of me," he says. "Every one was understandable, and I understand this is a business first. If you look at the circumstances, it makes perfect sense. It would've been easy for me to get down on myself, but I didn't because it wasn't a talent issue."

    He signed with the Rams a week before Christmas, after Todd Gurley dinged a knee and backup Malcolm Brown was lost for the season. Anderson has played three games with the Rams: 167 yards against the Cardinals, 132 against the 49ers, 123 and two touchdowns in the divisional-round victory over the Cowboys. He exudes all the radiance and none of the bitterness of a 27-year-old man who knew he wasn't finished but thought it was completely understandable if nobody else agreed. He knew he could do this, he says, which is an entirely different thing from expecting it to happen....
    -01-18-2019, 03:40 PM
  • Nick
    Rams facing this painful question: Are Todd Gurley’s best years behind him?
    by Nick
    Rams facing this painful question: Are Todd Gurley’s best years behind him?
    By Vincent Bonsignore
    Mar 3, 2019

    INDIANAPOLIS​ — There is finally​ some​ clarity​ on the condition​ of Todd Gurley’s​ left knee,​ and the​ news over the​ weekend painted​​ a gloomy picture for the Rams’ star running back.

    On Friday, John Breech of CBS Sports reported that the Rams might consider stem cell treatment for Gurley’s knee, which was surgically repaired in 2014 after an ACL tear during his junior year at Georgia. On Saturday, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that recent tests have revealed Gurley is dealing with arthritis in the knee.

    Both revelations cast doubt on the future of Gurley, who signed a four-year contract extension worth $60 million last summer that takes him through the 2023 season and guarantees him $45 million.

    With head coach Sean McVay talking about putting a plan in place to manage Gurley’s workload and general manager Les Snead pondering the potential need to add another running back alongside him, a dreaded question the Rams and their fans never wanted to contemplate is now absolutely valid.

    Are Gurley’s best years behind him?

    Since arthritis is a common occurrence in knees that have been surgically repaired, it is possible Gurley could be suffering from the condition. An orthopedic surgeon, speaking anonymously to The Athletic, said: “When you use the words arthritis in a knee that had an ACL back in college, that’s the connection. You’ve lost the alignment, and the tires are wearing out prematurely.”

    If that is indeed the case, it creates an ominous situation for Gurley based on multiple doctors consulted, including Dr. Jesse Morse of Florida Orthopedic Specialists.

    “Without personally examining him, my answers will obviously be very generalized, but unfortunately I believe Gurley has peaked and will not be able to repeat his record-breaking effectiveness,” Dr. Morse said. “He could possibly have one to two more years of elite top-five running back talent, but he will likely lose a step.”

    Publicly and privately, the Rams are not indicating anything more beyond the recent comments by McVay and Snead that Gurley was dealing with “wear and tear” issues late in the season.

    McVay said this week at the NFL Scouting Combine that surgery is not planned for Gurley. According to the doctors consulted by The Athletic, Gurley clearly has a condition that requires management rather than an injury that needs surgery.

    As far as stem cell treatment — which some doctors insist is a radical and not-yet-proven treatment that should be approached cautiously — Rams sources said no such course of action has been discussed within the organization.

    McVay and Snead have talked about putting a plan in place that will help keep Gurley...
    -03-04-2019, 06:17 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Gurley rides 'impressive offseason' into year two
    by r8rh8rmike
    Gurley rides 'impressive offseason' into year two

    Jake Rowe - Jun 4, 3:18 PM

    Few would argue with the notion that former Georgia running back Todd Gurley was born with some special abilities. Afterall, being blazing fast at 6-foot-1, 228 pounds is something only a relative few can claim in the entire world. But the budding Los Angeles Rams super star is also known as a relentless worker.

    That has shown in his second offseason as a professional player. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has dropped close to 15 pounds this winter and spring and according to his head coach, Jeff Fisher, it's because he's going the extra mile.

    ''He's not missed a day, and he's running extra after practice,'' Fisher said according to a report by the Associated Press. ''He looked pretty good running a straight line a year ago at this time. He's doing everything (this year) to the point where you almost say, `Let's back down a little bit.' He's had an impressive offseason.''

    Gurley missed the first two games of the 2015 season before getting his feet wet in week three against Pittsburgh. The next week's game against Arizona would be his coming out party. The North Carolina native had 19 carries for 146 yards, beginning a streak of four-straight 100-yard games. He would finish the season with five total while also amassing 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns on 229 carries. He also caught 21 passes for 188 yards. All of that in 13 games.
    -06-07-2016, 09:57 AM
  • KoaKoi
    Bleacher Report: Is Gurley Already NFL's Best Back?
    by KoaKoi
    At very few positions and in very few sports can a player become the best at his craft only weeks into his professional tenure. But if you're a truly special NFL running back, you often have an opportunity to make a pretty large statement in the infancy of your career.

    The last time that happened in a truly unforgettable way, Adrian Peterson rushed for 1,341 yards as a rookie with the 2007 Minnesota Vikings, averaging a league-high 5.6 yards per carry (among backs with three starts) and scoring 13 total touchdowns in 14 games.

    Despite starting only five of his first eight games that season, Peterson had a league-high 1,036 rushing yards at midseason, with a 268-yard edge on the NFL's second leading rusher, Willie Parker. He went over the 100-yard mark five times and the 200-yard mark twice during that stretch. And the 224 yards he put up in his third career start would have been the high watermark for the '07 season if not for the NFL-record—it still stands, by the way—296 yards he rushed for in his fifth career start.

    Eight years later, St. Louis Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley is starting to feel like this decade's version of Peterson.
    Gurley is only the fourth back since Peterson to be drafted in the top 10. Darren McFadden (2008), C.J. Spiller (2010) and Trent Richardson (2012) weren't able to come close to replicating what Peterson did early, or beyond early, for that matter. But Gurley might break the trend.
    Despite the fact he's less than a year removed from tearing his ACL (sound familiar?), Gurley has rushed for an NFL-record 566 yards in his first four NFL starts, hitting the 125-yard mark in all four games and scoring three touchdowns in the process.
    As a result, Gurley leads the league with a 6.1 yards-per-attempt average and ranks fifth in rushing yards despite the fact he's missed almost three full games and has been on the field for only 41 percent of his team's offensive snaps.
    See how lopsided that is? It's actually closer than it should be, because Gurley's yards-per-game average is skewed a fair bit by a nine-yard performance in Week 3 in which he had only six carries on 14 snaps.
    Remove that outing from the equation and he's averaging 141.5 yards per game.
    In '07, we were witnessing Peterson become the league's best back in a heartbeat, taking the proverbial crown from LaDainian Tomlinson. Now, Gurley is doing the same thing to the 30-year-old Peterson.
    Considering Peterson ran for an NFL-record 296 yards in his fifth start, it won't be easy for Gurley to keep pace in Week 9. But Peterson then suffered a knee injury and ran for 100 yards just once the remainder of the year. Even still, he was widely considered the best back in football in 2008, so Gurley is already solidifying a similar reputation.
    • The man has already broken off 50-plus-yard runs on three occasions.
    -11-04-2015, 01:11 PM