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Todd Gurley, Rams offensive line communicating better than in 2016

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Among the many things that went wrong for the Rams last season was running back Todd Gurley’s failure to build on his rookie season.

Gurley ran for 1,106 yards on 229 carries as a rookie, but dropped to 885 yards on 278 carries last year as the Rams went 4-12 in coach Jeff Fisher’s swan song. Gurley summed the year up as a “nightmare” and has spent the offseason working with his offensive linemen in hopes of producing better results in 2017.

Left guard Rodger Saffold said that the result of that work has been improved communication between Gurley and his blockers about what they are trying to do on each play.

“It’s more just kind of figuring out the speed out of the backfield that he needs,” Saffold said, via ESPN.com. “Once you get that down, then you kind of see the mesh of what we’re trying to get done. He knows what we’re trying to do on the offensive line as far as front side and back side. So, he knows where the play is going. Inside, with our wide zones and our inside zones, I think he’s attacking where we want the ball to go a lot better. And I think he’s letting things develop, too. Letting things develop on the inside, but on the outside he’s really pushing that edge, and it’s opening up some things for him.”

Communication wasn’t the only issue up front, something the Rams made clear by signing left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan to fill starting roles on the line this season. If they can give Gurley more space to operate and Gurley can do more with that space, it would be a big help to Sean McVay’s hopes of improving the Rams’ fortunes in his first season as head coach.

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8 Responses to “Todd Gurley, Rams offensive line communicating better than in 2016”
  1. TheDPR says: Jun 21, 2017 1:20 PM

    Without a passing game defenses can stop the run. He’ll only have a better season if the passing game has a better season. At least they’re better coached this year. It was starting to seem like Fisher would hang on forever.

  2. butlers91 says: Jun 21, 2017 1:23 PM

    The real issue is QB play. If they can’t get better QB play Gurley will never stand a chance.

  3. bobthebillsfan says: Jun 21, 2017 1:24 PM

    I think most teams that played the Rams last year realized that if stop Gurley, you’ve shut down the offense. They keyed on him.

  4. vicnocal says: Jun 21, 2017 2:17 PM

    People talking about the Rams QBs being the problem but while Gurley was having success as a rookie they had bad QBs too.

  5. nathanp2013 says: Jun 21, 2017 2:19 PM

    Gurley – “Hey, I am going to run into your back and fall down”

    O-Line – “Yes, you do that every time… at least we can pass the ball”

  6. nathanp2013 says: Jun 21, 2017 2:24 PM

    Let’s not put Gurleys’s issues on the passing game. Every defense AP lined up against keyed on him and he still averaged close to 5 ypc on his career… outside of 5 garbage time runs his rookie year Gurley has averaged a 3.2 over the course of his career.

    Gurley is much closer to Trent Richardson than AP.

  7. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Jun 21, 2017 3:42 PM

    What’s Eric Dickerson got to say about this?

  8. asthmafield says: Jun 23, 2017 1:22 PM

    As physically talented as Gurley is… he lacks vision and natural run instincts.

    He also isn’t as physical as his size would indicate and his competitiveness is just so-so.

    Gurley is above average but that is about it. He’ll still have some long runs because he will occasionally find a hole and he has the speed to take advantage of it… but he simply isn’t very good, IMO.

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