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McVay: Todd Gurley will be 'focal point of our offense'

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  • McVay: Todd Gurley will be 'focal point of our offense'

    McVay: Todd Gurley will be 'focal point of our offense'
    By Kevin Patra
    Around the NFL Writer
    Published: April 12, 2019 at 02:28 p.m.

    Questions about Todd Gurley's knee issue that stretched into the playoffs have lingered all offseason, leaving us to ponder how the Los Angeles Rams would utilize the running back moving forward.

    Despite whispers that the Rams might try to curtail Gurley's workload, coach Sean McVay said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show that the All-Pro running back will continue to be the center of the offense.

    "You can expect Todd to be a focal point of our offense going forward," McVay told Eisen. "He's in a good place, he's feeling good and will continue to be a central piece of our offense and I don't see that changing."

    McVay's response appears to answer the query Les Snead posited during the NFL Scouting Combine in February when the GM suggested Gurley's workload might need to be monitored moving forward.

    It's no surprise McVay would insist Gurley remain the centerpiece of the offense. As a dynamic runner, threat out of the backfield as a pass-catcher and goal line hammer, Gurley is a preeminent running back threat when healthy.

    Still, managing his workload more delicately in 2019 seems like a prudent move. Through his first four seasons, Gurley has handled 1,042 carries in the regular season alone. Compare that to two other prominent running backs from his draft class: Melvin Gordon (897) and David Johnson (687). Gurley's 1,229 touches over 58 career regular-season games give him an average of 21.2 touches per tilt.

    McVay wouldn't have to relegate Gurley to a complementary weapon in the offense to monitor his workload. Given the knee issue appears like it's one that could pop up at any moment, shaving a few reps and allowing the running back a few more respites each game could work just as well.

    After the Rams handed Gurley the largest contract in the NFL for a running back, there was never a real question about whether he would remain the focal point of an offense that makes headlines for its passing attack, but at its core is a run-focused, play-action assault.

    The biggest question is how Gurley's leg will hold up over the course of 16 games. It's one we might not have a hard answer to until January.

  • #2
    Let's get this show on the road, TG and Co.

    Wishing you a healthy, productive / strong 2019 season.


    • #3
      This Gurley thing continues to be a bit bizarre. McVay makes it sound like a guy with an incurable physical condition that can flare up at any time, will not be limited, will be a full go, and will remain a focal point of the offense. I sure hope the plan works out.

      Here is the entire interview with Eisen:


      • #4
        Originally posted by R8rh8rmike View Post
        This Gurley thing continues to be a bit bizarre. McVay makes it sound like a guy with an incurable physical condition that can flare up at any time, will not be limited, will be a full go, and will remain a focal point of the offense. I sure hope the plan works out.

        "It's the time of the season for lovinnn'..." - R. Argent / The Zombies (1968)

        Or rather, "It's the time of the season ... for smoke signals". (^_^)

        Ditto what you said about hoping 'the plan' works out.


        • #5
          Sean McVay: Rams will look to add RB in draft

          By Cameron DaSilva
          April 22, 2019
          6 a.m. ET

          With less than a week to go before the 2019 NFL draft, talk of the Los Angeles Rams taking a running back his been elevated. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network said they’ve done “a lot of homework” on the position, which coincides with them hosting prospects such as Darrell Henderson and Bruce Anderson – the former of whom could go in Round 1.

          It’s become no secret that the Rams want to draft a running back this year, it’s just a matter of when that will happen. They would be crazy to select one in the first round with Todd Gurley coming off back-to-back All-Pro seasons, but concerns about his knee could be worse than the Rams are leading on.

          Sean McVay won’t deny the Rams’ interest in running backs in the draft, but he’s looking for guys who can be change-of-pace players out of the backfield.

          “We’ll look to see if there’s a player that adds some value at that position,” McVay said, via Gary Klein of the LA Times. “When that would be is hard to say, but I think you’re always looking for more playmakers.”

          Gurley is a capable runner and receiver, but his backups are hardly as proven in the latter department. Malcolm Brown is a better runner than he is pass catcher, while the same goes for John Kelly. Justin Davis is a shifty tailback with receiving skills, but ball security and overall bulk are concerns with his game.

          A player like Bryce Love, who’s a capable receiver but didn’t catch many passes in college, could be a target in the sixth or seventh round. Kerrith Whye Jr. and Devin Singletary are also Day 3 prospects who have visited the Rams ahead of the draft.

          And heeeere we go!


          • #6
            Miles Sanders if he's available in the third


            • #7
              Umm, well, there was a guy named CJ...…..


              Related Topics


              • Nick
                Was Rams coach Sean McVay out of touch with use of Todd Gurley?
                by Nick
                Was Rams coach Sean McVay out of touch with use of Todd Gurley?
                By RICH HAMMOND | | Orange County Register
                PUBLISHED: December 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm | UPDATED: December 11, 2017 at 7:37 pm

                THOUSAND OAKS — For all the good that Coach Sean McVay has brought to the Rams this year — an enormous amount — a persistent question remains. What’s going on with Todd Gurley’s usage?

                The Rams are 7-0 when Gurley touches the ball at least 20 times in a game, either on handoffs or receptions, and they’re 2-4 when he doesn’t reach that mark. Gurley had 16 touches for 135 yards on Sunday in the Rams’ loss to Philadelphia, which tied his lowest touch total of the season.

                That requires some context. The Rams ran only 45 offensive plays against the Eagles, so Gurley’s touches accounted for 35.6 percent of their offense, which is on par with his usage all season.
                Still, McVay’s usage of Gurley didn’t pass the eye test. Philadelphia entered the game with a superb run defense that had averaged only 3.5 yards allowed per attempt, but Gurley ran for 30 yards on the Rams’ second play and scored a touchdown on the next play. Gurley averaged 7.4 yards per rush attempt.

                Gurley and the Rams’ offensive line clearly could move the ball against the Eagles, but Gurley had only 13 carries (for 96 yards), while quarterback Jared Goff attempted 26 passes (and completed 16).

                “Any time we’re running the football like that, I’ve got to do a better job of making sure that he gets enough touches to get into the flow, especially when we’re getting some good movement,” McVay said during his Monday news conference at Cal Lutheran.

                “It is a delicate balance. At the end of the day, however you want to cut it, I’ve got to get him going and give him more opportunities, with the way he was running, and have a better feel for the flow of the game. That was something I didn’t think I did very well.”

                McVay also pointed out, correctly, quite fairly, that the low number of plays took the Rams out of sync, and credited the Eagles defense for doing a good job against the Rams’ first-down plays, particularly some of the play-action stuff that had been successful all season.

                McVay also talked about the need for run-pass balance, and at times, McVay seemed to stray too far.

                The Rams held a 35-34 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter when, on a first-and-10 play, McVay called a play-action pass. Eagles defensive end Chris Long sprinted around Rams tackle Darrell Williams, who had entered the game two plays earlier, and forced a Goff strip-sack fumble.

                Philadelphia went on to kick a go-ahead field goal, and after the game, McVay was forthright in saying that he should have called a better play. Perhaps the Rams should have kept the ball on the ground?

                It’s not as though the Rams have been ignoring Gurley. They’ve...
                -12-11-2017, 08:09 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Rams may consider drastic option if Todd Gurley's knee regresses during offseason
                by r8rh8rmike
                Rams may consider drastic option if Todd Gurley's knee regresses during offseason

                Todd Gurley's left knee is still an issue in Los Angeles

                by John Breech
                6 hrs ago • 5 min read

                INDIANAPOLIS -- The question of whether or not Todd Gurley is healthy has been one of the biggest mysteries in the NFL over the past few months and although the team won't come out and say it, there's definitely some concern inside the organization about his left knee.

                The Rams currently have Gurley on an offseason regimen in hopes of getting him completely healthy for the 2019 season, but if that doesn't work or if his knee regresses, the team may consider stem cell treatment for their star running back, according to a team source.

                Although stem cell procedures haven't quite gone mainstream in the NFL, multiple former running backs have undergone the treatment, including Jamaal Charles and Knowshon Moreno. Both Charles and Moreno had the procedure done after tearing an ACL earlier in their football career. Gurley tore his ACL during his junior year at the University of Georgia in 2014.

                Rams coach Sean McVay was asked about the possibility of a stem cell procedure during a one-on-one interview with at the NFL combine on Thursday and denied it, but he did say that the team is looking at "new methods" to help Gurley with his ailing knee.

                "As far as the stem cells, that's not something that's been communicated to me, but there is a program," McVay said. "We've got these doctors and there's always new methods of staying as up-to-date as you can, and number one, the player has to feel good about it. Todd does such a good job of doing his own research and knowing what are the things [he] can do."

                McVay also added that the team is open to using new advancements in medicine as long as Gurley is comfortable with it.

                "I think every year provides a new opportunity based on the research and some of the medical advances to attack it in the right way," McVay said. "As long as Todd is feeling good about that, that's what we'll do."

                One option that's not on the table right now is surgery. McVay told a horde of media members at the combine that surgery definitely won't be happening this offseason.

                Gurley's troublesome left knee became such an issue this year that it caused him to miss the final two games of the regular season. At the time, the Rams attributed Gurley's absence to soreness and inflammation. According to McVay, the team is hoping that they can get Gurley back at full strength this offseason.

                "We're going to implement a plan to have him attack it to get that knee back to feeling full strength, feeling good based on just the amount of work that he's gotten," McVay said. "That would be no different whether he missed any games or not, though."...
                -03-01-2019, 12:11 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Todd Gurley Absent As Rams Begin Voluntary OTA Workouts
                by r8rh8rmike
                Todd Gurley absent as Rams begin voluntary OTA workouts

                Key defensive veterans Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Dante Fowler also skip drills

                By RYAN KARTJE | | Orange County Register
                PUBLISHED: May 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm | UPDATED: May 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm

                THOUSAND OAKS – The Rams contend to have a “really specific” plan for Todd Gurley this offseason. But starting offseason training activities with the team was apparently not a part of it.

                The former NFL Offensive Player of the Year was not the only player absent from the Rams’ first OTA practice on Monday. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, as well as edge rusher Dante Fowler, were also not in attendance, all of whom, according to Rams coach Sean McVay, communicated ahead of time that they would be absent.

                OTA’s are entirely voluntary, and it’s not without precedent that players secure in their star status skip out. But the absence of Gurley, who signed the largest guaranteed contract for a running back in NFL history last summer, is bound to raise a few eyebrows anyway, given the uncertain status of his knee at the end of last season.

                The last we saw of the Rams star running back, he ran for just 35 yards on 10 carries in a Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Ever since, reports doubting Gurley’s long-term health have swirled endlessly, even as he and the Rams have shrugged them off.

                McVay said that Rams staff members sat down with Gurley to work out a plan for his offseason. That plan, like the team’s agreement with star tackle Aaron Donald, includes allowances for Gurley to use trainers unaffiliated with the Rams.

                “As long as we’re on the same page, we feel good about that,” McVay said. “And most importantly, Todd feels good. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s staying up to date with everything that’s going on. But that’s where we’re at with him right now.”

                Gurley said last month that his knee felt “pretty good.” Surgery, he said, had never been seriously considered. Over the course of the offseason, Gurley has certainly seemed fine as he traveled the world, from New York and Miami to Milan and Barcelona, “doing everything I always wanted to do,” he said.

                But until the two-time All-Pro running back is back on the field, questions about his health will continue to linger. That return could take place some time over the team’s nine remaining OTA sessions, which are spread out over the next three weeks. Or we may not see Gurley until training camp begins at the end of July.

                The absence of a star player from offseason workouts should be familiar territory for the Rams, who spent the last two years of OTA’s fielding questions about Aaron Donald and his contract. But on Monday, while Gurley stayed away, Donald was on the field in May for the first time since McVay took over as coach.

                “It’s nice having him around this time of year,” McVay said. “I didn’t...
                -05-23-2019, 09:34 AM
              • 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
              • Curly Horns
                Sean McVay made right call riding hot hand in C.J. Anderson over Todd Gurley
                by Curly Horns
                By: Andrew Ortenberg | 12 hours ago Follow @AndrewOball

                Sean McVay rightfully gets a ton of praise for his innovative offense and play design, as well as his gutsy situational calls like going for it on certain fourth downs. But the best decision he made Saturday night to help lead the Rams to their first playoff win in 14 years was keeping running back C.J. Anderson in the game ahead of Todd Gurley.

                Even though Gurley was healthy and running well in his own right, Anderson deserved all of the touches and playing time that he got. It’s not like many other positions, where being forced to split time could affect a player’s mentality. And running back is the one position where the hot hand should always be played.

                Anderson finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns, and ended up with 23 carries to Gurley’s 16. While the thought of giving a free agent who just signed weeks ago nearly even playing time with a multiple-time All-Pro who was recently given the largest contract for a running back in NFL history might seem absurd, it’s the latest in a long line of bold decisions McVay has made that turned out right.

                Anderson is competent in pass protection and picked up chunk yardage the entire night. His longest run went for 15 yards, which tells you all you need to know about how consistent he was to still average over 5 yards a carry. McVay also left him in during some of the most crucial situations, showing the confidence he has in the 27-year-old back after just a few weeks.

                It was Anderson who got the carry on fourth-and-goal with seven minutes left in the game, and he ran through contact at the line of scrimmage for the score that proved to be the difference in the game. It was also Anderson taking the final three handoffs of the game, and picking up the first down with just over a minute left that sealed the victory.

                If someone had told you a month ago that Anderson would be carrying the ball 23 times in a playoff game, you’d have thought something must have gone disastrously wrong. You’d probably have thought Gurley suffered a season-ending injury.

                Instead, everything has gone perfectly for the Rams backfield, and McVay handled the situation just as he should’ve. If Anderson continues his fantastic play next week in the NFC championship game, he should receive plenty of run in that one as well.
                -01-13-2019, 09:53 AM