Usually the biggest stars in any sport want the ball, or puck, more than anyone else. That’s been a trademark of the best athletes for generations. But for LA Rams running back Todd Gurley, the first big football star in Los Angeles now that the Rams are back, actually wants fewer carries, which will certainly annoy those that drafted him in fantasy leagues.
So while it’s not the 1980s anymore and Gurley doesn’t want the workload on the ground like Eric Dickerson had, that doesn’t mean he’s shying away from touches. He just wants them to come to him by different means.
“It’s cool getting more involved in the passing game—better than having 11 guys coming straight at you when you are running the ball,” he said. “You get to at least avoid a couple hits.”
Throwing to Gurley will allow him to get near 25 touches a game without absorbing the violence of 25 runs. Gurley would like to keep his rushes in the 20-to-25-per-game range.
So for those of you who drafted Gurley in PPR leagues, begin salivating.
“Nobody wants to carry the ball 30 times a game,” he said. “It’s not the 1980s no more.”
Gurley hopes this year he’ll be able to better focus on the game now that the concerns about his injured knee have died down.
“I feel I can play a lot better than I did this year when I can focus on football and not worry about my knee swelling up,” he said. “Last year, I was focused more on my knee.”
While Gurley is trying to focus on football, he’s becoming one of the most marketable NFL players there are, owing to his own personable marketability as well as owning the LA spotlight. And Gurley wants to bask in it.
“It would be cool to take Kobe’s place,” Gurley said. “But that would never happen. I don’t really care about all that. I just want to play football, win some games. My goal is not to be the superstar in L.A. It’s to play for the Rams, score touchdowns and try to win games.”
Gurley does have a chance to be as big of a star in Los Angeles as Eric Dickerson was, and still is. He might not be doing it in the same way Dickerson did, by setting the league’s single-season rushing record, but he’s going to try to do it his own way. It might not be exactly conventional, but nothing’s conventional with running backs anymore in the NFL.