Todd Gurley‘s first season in Hollywood was next to nightmarish.
After a promising rookie campaign, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year saw his yards per carry average dip to 3.2 and barely saw any opportunities to break big runs behind an ineffective offensive line. It also didn’t help that the Rams quarterbacks were the least feared signal-callers west of Florham Park, inspiring opposing linebackers and safeties to crowd the box and limit Gurley’s options.
But with new coach Sean McVay at the helm, Gurley is rejuvenated with hopes that his second go-around in the Coliseum will bear better results.
“I hope so,” Gurley said, when asked by Zig Fracassi on SiriusXM NFL Radio if he expects Los Angeles’ offense to be more “Gurley-friendly” in 2017. “Yeah, Coach. Tell Coach we want it Todd-friendly.”
Gurley added that he has “definitely been loving” McVay’s style of offense, which for now has the back focusing on daily preparation and being a “situational master.” NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal noted during minicamp that the Rams were moving the third-year back all around the offensive formation: in motion out of the backfield, outside the hashes, etc.
Inspiring the tailback this offseason is the development of second-year quarterback Jared Goff, who had shown in minicamp to be a more than competent option at QB.
“Oh, he’s been getting better. Obviously, he didn’t go No. 1 for no reason. He has the talent, and he’s just been getting better,” Gurley gushed. “He definitely had a great OTAs, great minicamp. Coaches have been doing a good job with him. Just his preparation, him being there all day, he’s been great so far, man, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
The running back’s comments this summer are a far cry from what Gurley was saying just seven months ago about the state of L.A.’s attack. Following the Rams‘ loss to Atlanta in Week 14 — a defeat that proved career-fatal for then-coach Jeff Fisher — Gurley mused that his unit looked like a “middle school offense out there.” In January, he told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that the Rams‘ 4-12 campaign was “like a nightmare.”
It’s still summer, and nary a Ram has yet to put on pads. But it sounds as if Gurley has already graduated from last year’s middle-school nightmare to a professional dream.
After all, as Gurley puts it, “It can’t get any worse than it did last year.”