Among the most frustrating aspects of the Los Angeles Rams offense throughout the 2016 NFL season was their inability get running back Todd Gurley going on the ground. Although his struggles were attributed to a number of factors regarding the offense, it is fair to say Gurley endured a sophomore slump.
However, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, head coach Sean McVay says he is focused on surrounding the former rookie sensation with the right pieces necessary to help him get back on track:
“The run game,” Los Angeles Rams rookie head coach Sean McVay said from the owners meetings last week, “takes all 11 — whether it’s getting it targeted up front the right way with your linemen, having receivers that are willing to come down and block safeties when they bring an eighth guy down in the box, if you’ve got some run-pass options with the quarterback where you want to run it versus a two-safety look and throw it versus single-high. I think it takes all 11. And the back has to do a great job pressing it or reading out his keys, because everybody is tied together.”
Gurley went from 1,097 yards in 12 games during his rookie season to just 885 yards in 16 games last season. It is easy to see why his drop-off goes beyond just Gurley as an individual player. Establishing a run game takes a collective effort, something the Rams were seriously lacking in and McVay feels that began to take a toll on the former Offensive Rookie of the Year.
If Los Angeles can manage to get Gurley back to his Pro Bowl ways, that would give this offense the spark it needs as quarterback Jared Goff continues to develop.