When running back Todd Gurley first joined the Rams in 2015, it was clear what strengths he would bring to the franchise. In his time at Georgia, Gurley made a name for himself as a dynamic rusher who provided a rare blend of power and speed.
And while he continues to demonstrate both skills as one of the top running backs in the league, last season proved that Gurley can bring more to the table than just his abilities as a rusher.
In 2017, Gurley recorded 64 receptions for 788 yards and six touchdowns — nearly doubling his production from the previous two seasons combined.
And now, as he gets set to enter his second season under head coach Sean McVay, Gurley is ready to continue developing as a true dual-threat running back.
"There's always room for improvement," Gurley said recently, "but my main focus is to help the team as much as possible. Focus on running the ball and the routes will take care of themselves."
Throughout the offseason, passing game coordinator Shane Waldron said the team made a point to have all five running backs go through drills with the receivers. By doing so, Gurley and the rest of the room will have more opportunities to compete in both the running and passing game.
But Gurley in particular has taken that emphasis one step further.
After each practice, the running back can often be found catching passes at the jugs machine — a habit that has helped him to improve his individual receiving abilities, in addition to the route-running he does with the rest of the team.
And for that reason, Waldron is confident that Gurley will continue to improve as a receiver in 2018. Although, admittedly, he was unsure of just how much better the Georgia product could be after such a stellar 2017.
"Man, he's pretty good right now," Waldron said with a laugh. "But the one thing with Todd is you see him everyday, he does all that stuff like a pro. So I think like anything else, even though he is one of the greatest in the world at what he does, his work ethic and [with] what he puts into it in getting those extra reps, I think he can do nothing but improve."