Rams running back Todd Gurley was one of the most disappointing players in the NFL last season, falling from 4.8 yards a carry as a rookie in 2015 to just 3.2 yards a carry in 2016. But running the ball isn’t what the Rams think Gurley needs to improve.
Asked what Gurley needs to work on, Rams running backs coach Skip Peete said pass protection.
“It has nothing to do with the running game,” Peete told ESPN. “I think the most important thing in this league, as far as a running back is concerned, is his ability to pass protect, whether it’s first or second down. Because they think it’s easy. They’ve all come into the league comfortable as a runner. But that aspect of it is a little bit different than you’re accustomed to coming out of college. He and I talk about that all the time — your ability to completely understand the blocking scheme, whether it’s run or pass.”
The Rams like the running back they drafted in 2015, but the player they really need to develop is the quarterback they drafted in 2016, Jared Goff. The NFL is such a pass-oriented league that even when you’re a franchise running back, your biggest job is protecting the franchise quarterback.