Running back Todd Gurley received NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors after his impressive game against the 49ers last Thursday in Santa Clara as he continues to remind us of his stellar rookie year performance.
The year has been a good one for Gurley, with six touchdowns and 381 yards from scrimmage. Last season was not the best year for him, as he finished with 895 yards and six touchdowns total.
He also voiced his frustration with former Rams coach Jeff Fisher's offense, and said he was ready for the a new coaching regime.
Once Sean McVay entered the picture as head coach, players began to gravitate toward him more. His football style of coaching meshed perfectly with many of the young players.
Although Gurley didn't have the year last season that he experienced in his rookie year, McVay took a different approach in order to help Gurley develop this season.
"I think when you look at Todd, what you want to make sure is that instead of just looking at the numbers, you watch the tape and really see what’s the reason for why you think maybe things didn’t go the way that you wanted last year," McVay said.
"What you see when you watch the two years that he’s been in the league, before you get with him is you see an excellent talent and you see a guy that has got great natural run instincts -- fearless competitor. So, to say that you’re surprised by this, the way that he’s worked day-in and day-out, you’re not surprised because those are the expectations that you have for a great player like Todd."
After missing three games in his rookie year, he finished with over 1,106 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns that led to his Rookie of the Year award.
This season, Gurley appears to be more patient running, finding the holes and makes the most out of his yards per carry. With the Rams having a much improved offensive line, which makes Gurley have more production in the ground game, it gives the Rams a higher probability to win games while keeping drives alive.
After evaluating last year, what adjustments did he make if any for this year under McVay?
"The preparation is still there. Obviously, I’ve been doing a lot more third downs, so I’ve been able to work on routes and stuff more this off season," Gurley said on Thursday.
"Obviously the offense is a little different, so they’ve kind of got me all over the place. But other than that, the preparation has been the same – just going out there in practice, finishing runs and just preparing every day.”
As the old saying goes, preparation plus opportunity equals success, and the Rams (2-1) are currently in first place in the NFC West.
Los Angeles takes every game a week at a time and where adjustments need to be made, they simply adjust quickly. The team has also become more exciting and that energy has transferred not just throughout the locker room, but has resonated with fans and football experts across the nation.
"Just being with Coach McVay and just all of us, it’s just about clicking and timing in this league and for us to be able to do that these last couple games – it’s still early," Gurley said. "Teams can come together early and fall apart late. Like I said, take it day by day and prepare like every game is our last and every practice is our last and just do what the coaches do and not turn the ball over.”
Gurley is on pace to have a better 2017 season than his rookie year in 2015. The Rams face the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday at 10 a.m. PT.