2019-11-17 09:49:231 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by TJ Inman, Contributing Writer; Image: Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. (Image Source: Jason Pohuski/College2Pro)
Pittsburgh, PA— Let’s play pretend.
Imagine your boss is now Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.
McVay is not going to be the man on the sidelines. He is going to be the man in charge of the everyday operations of the office, you are going to be employed.
Your role as one of the premiere acquisitions the company has landed in recent years elevates your salary to balloon to the tippy top of the industry.
Your production to the company is unparalleled. Your versatility to do different things is the hallmark of why your so handsomely paid. Then after missing a couple days of work, your role with the company begins to change drastically. You’re no longer part of important meetings, in which you once shined.
Others are making the Power Point presentation as you sit and watch from the back of the room. Powerless.
Rumors begin to emerge that you are unhealthy and not fit for duty. People wonder about your overall health and if you are okay, but you and your boss, Mr. McVay, are clear that your workload is being scaled back as other employees become more involved in the everyday operations of the company.
Although the company’s numbers are suffering. This time last year the company was the cream of the crop, looking like a Fortune 500 contender for years to come.
That is not the case currently for the office McVay manages.
The numbers are down and possibly will not reached the fourth-quarter earnings expected. A harsh reality for a company who expanded their secondary operations with the acquisition of Jalen Ramsey earlier in the season.
Now back to reality. No more pretending.
You’re not Todd Gurley.
You hear from the talking heads on radio and television proclaim gibberish when identifying the Rams offensive woes. The cliché that Gurley is hurt is repeated over and over.
Gurley ranks 25th overall in the National Football League with 13 carries a game. Last year, he averaged 18.3. carries per game which ranked him third in the league. Those are five less touches by one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the NFL. Those five less carries per game for Gurley have been put into the passing attack. Rams quarterback Jared Goff attempted 35.1 passes per game last season and now he is averaging 39. 4 per game, this year. His passer rating has dropped from over 20% from 105.5 to 82.7 between 2018-19.
Keep passing Sean!
Gurley carried the football 12 times for 73 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10. A whopping 6.1 yards per carry against one of the league top defenses. He gashed them for a 22-yard gain, which was the second longest offensive play for Los Angeles, behind a 24-yard catch by Robert Woods.
McVay’s response was as lousy as his play-calling when defending the reason why Gurley was not present in the lineup in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh.
“Yeah that was just kind of the rotation,” McVay told reporters. “Sometimes I’m on both sides of the headset. There’s a lot of trust for our coaches that have some content to be really able to say, ‘Alright, who’s in?’ Then I will be able to click back on and then we know what we are going with. I thought Todd really had some tough-earned runs. We got drives going, but at the end of the day, we ended up being in some two-minute situations at the end of the game. It was kind of hard to get back into any sort of flow around the football.”
A paragraph of garbage.
Gurley’s influence in the offense entirely has been lackluster at best with the Rams struggling and on the outside looking in for a Wildcard playoff spot.
“There’s a lot of football to be played,” McVay said after Los Angeles lost to Pittsburgh 17-12. “But really, we got to figure out how do we play more efficient, specially offensively.”
Here is an idea. Put the football in the hands of your best player.
Every great runner who has ever suited up in the NFL has demanded carries. A running back finds his rhythm by touching the ball repeatedly. McVay is crippling Gurley’s ability to produce by limiting the amount of touches he has received over the course of nine games.
The results are in the win and loss column for the Rams.
The Rams offensive line has their own issues. Left guard Joe Noteboom suffered a season-ending injury in Week 6 and starting center Brian Allen will miss the remainder of the year after hurting his knee against the Steelers. It seems logical Los Angeles may want to revert to pounding the football a little more rather than having fresh faces along the offensive line trying to pass protect.
The onus is now on McVay to reinvent himself and his offense.
Maybe by reintroducing Todd Gurley as the playmaker in Los Angeles.
To read more from Bo Marchionte at College2Pro.com, click here.
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