McVay on Gurley: ‘The running game isn’t always on the running back’

Sean McVay has a long list of challenges as he enters his rookie season as an NFL head coach with the Los Angeles Rams.

Besides dealing with so many issues for the first time, McVay also must get quarterback Jared Goff, the top overall pick of last year’s draft, to play up to that status. He also needs to get running back Todd Gurley to rebound from a second season that saw his production plummet from 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground as a rookie in 2015 to 885 and six last year.

‘The guy’s a natural talent, I think he’s motivated’

How does McVay plan to help Gurley meet those high expectations?

“Yeah, and I think that’s what’s exciting about it,” McVay told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains at the NFL meeting in Phoenix. “You look at his first two years, the body of work, the guy’s a natural talent. I think he’s motivated. Clearly, we as a team last year didn’t achieve the things that we want to. And I think one of the things you tell people, especially when you’re just looking at the run game, it takes all 11. I think people have the tendency to always place sacks on an offensive line; those take all 11. But the running game isn’t always on the running back as well.

‘You have to have things targeted the right way up front’

“You have to have things targeted the right way up front. You have to have receivers that are willing to compete on the perimeter. If you’ve got your quarterback with run-pass options, he’s got to make sure that we’re running into favorable box counts. And then the backs got to be able to press it and you want to let those guys do their thing.

“But I think what you appreciate about Todd is he’s got special ability. I know he’s motivated to play better moving forward into year three, and we’re excited to get to work with him as well.”

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