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Rams' Todd Gurley comes up short in quest for breakout performance


NewsHubTodd Gurley came to Los Angeles ready to be a breakout star.
But the Rams running back could barely break through the line of scrimmage.
Gurley’s seasonlong struggle continued in Sunday’s 44-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at the Coliseum.
Gurley looked relieved after the game as he stood at his locker. It had become routine for the second-year pro to answer questions after each game about his inability to spring for a long gain.
Finally, Gurley wouldn’t have to ponder when the big run would happen.
“Didn’t come,” he said. “It’s all good.”
On Sunday, Gurley rushed for 40 yards in 14 carries. His longest run went for eight yards and he was tackled in the backfield three times. He caught four passes for 37 yards, including a short reception that he turned into a 29-yard gain in the second quarter.
Gurley would not offer any ideas about what he needed to do to gain more yards.
“Just kind of is what it is at this point,” he said.
The Rams’ offense finished ranked last in the NFL for the second season in a row. Their rushing attack was second to last.
Lineman Rodger Saffold said the entire offense failed to create opportunities.
The Rams lost to the Cardinals, 44-6, at the Coliseum on Jan. 1 to end the season 4-12.
“If you want to be able to spring big runs you got to execute [at] all 11 [positions] and we didn’t do that on a consistent basis,” Saffold said.
Gurley, the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year in 2015, finished with 885 yards rushing and six touchdowns, well short of the 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns he amassed in 13 games last season.
“People maybe expect him to do more than that,” said quarterback Jared Goff, “but Todd’s a great player, a great teammate, a great leader. He’s going to be just fine.”
As a rookie, Gurley rushed for more than 100 yards in a game five times. He did not achieve the feat this season. He rushed for a season-high 85 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September.
“I think he started pressing a little bit because there wasn’t success that came, really at any point, especially early,” interim Coach John Fassel said. “Frustration set in and confidence maybe dropped, whether it was in himself or just the whole package.”
Gurley said he would change his off-season approach as he looked ahead.
“You’re going to have that in your mind-set to work just a little bit harder,” he said, “cause you don’t wanna, you never wanna go through a 4-12 season again.”

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