THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Following Friday's practice, Todd Gurley rolled his eyes and laughed, "I don't know. You tell me."
The question was about whether defenses had been setting up a little differently this season to limit the running back to 91 rushing yards in two games. In his rookie season, rushed for over 100 yards in five of the 13 games he played, so the answer is pretty apparent.
"It be crazy [sic]," Gurley said when asked about what he sees facing him when he's in the backfield. "I be like [sic], 'Man, there's 12 people on the field.' There's [sic] definitely a lot of people, but it is what it is. Sometimes, it's a good thing because if you get past that first level, then you're gone. But you go to get past that first level first."
Against Tampa Bay during the 2015 season, Gurley only averaged 2.3 yards per carry and finished with 48 yards, which is just about his season average thus far. In terms of giving up rushing yards, the Buccs rank in the top 10 in the NFL. As such, a breakout game may be a tough proposition for the 22-year-old.
Gurley added, "We know what they're going to do."
The Rams' defense is still the strong point on the team, and defensive coordination Gregg Williams did not shy away from showering Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston with praise.
"I have a lot of respect for Jameis, especially after we played him last year – we had a lot of contact on him last year," Williams said on Friday.
Williams continued, "He's a legitimate tough guy in our league. He took a lot of contact in our game (last year) and he kept on going. Even last week, (Buccaneers Head Coach) Dirk (Koetter) was answering a question about why he had him in in the end of a game–because Jameis wanted to play. The good players want to do that all the time, that's why Russell played last week. Good players want to play. I have a lot of respect for him. He's fearless on how he goes about the approach of playing that position."
The Rams managed to beat the Seattle Seahawks despite failing to score a touchdown, and seemingly, the offense appreciates the effort.
"It's always inspiring," Gurley said of his defense. "You kind of get out there, and you're just playing for them because they're always on the field, and you're just like, 'C'mon man, these guys are doing a great job for us, and we need to do a great job for them.' It's all about the team coming together."
Head Coach Jeff Fisher also appeared to be happy with the team's practices. After practicing on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team took Thursday off before wrapping up the practice week on Friday.
"We healed up," Fisher said on Friday. "It was good to see the guys on the field. Yesterday's day off was good, great. A lot of energy today. Now we're going to deal with the travel. They understand what it takes to get ready for Sunday – we're in a good place."
On Sunday, the Rams will face Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:05 p.m. Pacific Time.
Notes: Tampa Bay reportedly cut tight-end Austin Seferian-Jenkins following an arrest for a suspected DUI on Friday. Fisher commented on the incident and pointed out how it hurt Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are down to two tight-ends on Sunday, so Fisher said the news did have an effect on the Rams from a defensive standpoint. Also, the Rams announced that the team had waived cornerback Steve Williams and promoted defensive back Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad.