Rams expecting big things from “violent runner” Todd Gurley

AP

Rams running back Todd Gurley said recently that he’s seen improvement from quarterback Jared Goff as Goff prepares for his second NFL season and one of the ways the Rams can make the most of that improvement is by teaming Goff with a productive Gurley.

That Gurley wasn’t in evidence for most of the 2016 season as he slipped from 1,106 yards as a rookie to 885 yards despite carrying the ball 49 more times in his second NFL campaign. There were plenty of explanations for the drop, including poor offensive line play, but there’s little doubt that having Gurley run through and around defenders more often would energize the entire offense.

A weekend scrimmage with the Chargers didn’t offer a true game scenario, but it did provide some optimism on the Gurley rebound front. Coach Sean McVay said he was happy to see a “violent runner” coming out of his backfield.

“He did a great job of getting it out into the open field and there was a couple where he’s reading it one gap at a time on some of the schemes we have, and you can feel his speed once he gets to the corner,” McVay said, via ESPN.com. “He’s a guy that has been motivated and has been a standout throughout the offseason program, and it’s been the same throughout camp. We’re expecting big things from Todd.”

The Rams brought in left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan on the offensive line in hopes of providing better lanes for Gurley up front. If those moves work out, Goff should have a better run game to lean on than he did as a rookie and that should bode well for McVay’s chances of putting together a better offense in his first season with the team.