We all know the 2016 season was disappointing for the Los Angeles Rams, particularly offensively. But for running back Todd Gurley, the lack of victories sting more than any individual numbers.
"Four-and-twelve is definitely not the season [record anyone] wants. I don't really care about what I do individually," Gurley said on Tuesday. "We probably wouldn't have this discussion if we were 14-2 and I had 200 yards. It really doesn't matter what I do or what anyone else does on this team. It's about what we do as a team together."
Gurley has displayed that same team-first attitude since the Rams drafted him back in 2015. And every time he'd have a big game as a rookie — and he had plenty en route to being named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year — he'd credit the players around him for all of his success.
The running back clearly hasn't changed.
"I think the best thing about him is how team-orientated he is," quarterback Jared Goff said. "We could win every game, and he couldn't have a touch — he wouldn't really care. He wants to win the games and he wants to do whatever is best for the team and that's my favorite part about him."
"He's a great football player that's motivated to respond in the right way. I think he's been a great leader for us," head coach Sean McVay said. "He works extremely hard, extremely conscientious in the meeting room. I had never really been around Todd before I got here and I've been extremely pleased with him.
Gurley and Goff are still young — both are only 22 — but they are growing into two of the leaders on the offensive unit.
Check out photos from the Los Angeles Rams first minicamp practice. Photos by Ric Tapia.
"I think him and myself have done a great job with that this offseason, and kind of coming into our own a little bit and understanding our role within the team and understanding our responsibility and how important everything is," Goff said. "I think he's done a tremendous job in the offseason. Seeing him train — we did train together for a little bit — seeing him train and how hard he's taking everything and how serious he's taking everything has been awesome. I expect him to have a great year."
Like so many during the offseason program, Gurley gave a lot of credit to the coaching staff for how well he and the rest of the unit have picked up the playbook.
"They've just done a very good job with us just being patient, the skill development, everything — just from Phase I, Phase II, Phase III," Gurley said. "It's just been day-by-day, piece-by-piece, and it's just all kind of coming together slowly."
What will that look like in McVay's offense? The head coach alluded to Gurley becoming more involved as a receiver, in part because the running back has displayed that skill set.
"I think he's a much more complete player than maybe a lot of people would think with his ability to contribute in the pass-game, protection and then, obviously, he's an elite runner," McVay said. "He's a special player and we've got to do a great job putting him in good spots."
"We'll see what happens once the season comes," Gurley said on the prospect of receiving more targets. "Like I said, I'm just doing what he calls on the script and just taking it day-by-day."
And that's what makes Gurley special as a player and a person. As long as the team improves, what's called in practice, what's called in games — that's not important.
He just wants to win. And that's something the can feel.
"I think he's certainly done his part in setting a good example for what it looks like to be one of the standards on this team," McVay said.