Gurley is the man in St. Louis

Todd Gurley gets all elusive against San Francisco. (Getty Images)

Todd Gurley gets all elusive against San Francisco. (Getty Images)

It takes something earth-shaking to get anyone to notice professional football in St. Louis, a town that is holding onto its Rams by a frayed thread.

That trembler wears a lush set of dreads and the No. 30.

Bulldogs fans may look at how Todd Gurley is ripping through the NFL now and be washed in remorse over how it ended in Athens. Between the suspension and the knee injury, Gurley’s best never had an adequate airing at Georgia.

Those same fans may also take a bit of comfort in his example. If he can return so spectacularly from the trauma of knee surgery, then who’s to say that Nick Chubb can’t do likewise? Part of Chubb’s rehab should be a daily replay of Gurley’s already impressive collection of highlight NFL runs.

What Gurley is doing now with the Rams seems to read like the opening of a fable. And along the way, he is helping to re-emphasize the importance of the running back in the NFL.

Conventional wisdom has it that you are not to squander a first-round draft pick on a running back, particularly one who is recovering from knee surgery. But Gurley’s gifts were so tantalizing that the Rams Les Snead, a former Falcons personnel guy, could not resist. He took Gurley 10th, two picks after the Falcons chose the thus-far invisible pass-rusher, Vic Beasley.

Snead’s faith has been rewarded in bulk. In the month since returning from his rehab, Gurley has ripped off four straight 100-plus-yard rushing performances. The last rookie to do that was Edgerrin James in 1999. His 566 rushing yards in his first four games – good enough to place him fifth in the NFL – is the most to begin a career in 50 years.

More importantly, the Rams are 3-1 and have a pulse since Gurley got active.

His coach, Jeff Fisher, is appreciative. “I keep bringing up that ‘S’ word – which is ‘special,’” he said last week.

Gurley has endeared himself to the populace with his combination of speed and power, exploding for four rushes of 48 yards and longer in four games. His working motto thus far: “What’s the point of being a running back if you can’t break a tackle, you know.”

Let’s compare Gurley’s impact to someone to whom the Atlanta audience can relate. In his four games, Gurley has accounted for 45 percent of the Rams offense. Between his rushing and receiving, Devonta Freeman has contributed 32 percent of the Falcons total offense. The burden on Gurley has been immense. The Rams certainly need to diversify over the long term.

Freeman has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Gurley, on a pace that he certainly can’t maintain, is averaging 6.1 yards a tote. (Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon, the other back taken in 2015’s first round, is averaging 3.7 yards and has zero touchdowns).

The numbers only do partial justice to Gurley’s impact in St. Louis. For he has breathed new life into a franchise, one that teeters on the brink of leaving town. If only he had such a profound impact on his last team.

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
mcarter
mcarter

always good to see someone that works hard do well not just take the money

Redfin
Redfin

Wooppee....just another primadonna that came through Athens with nothing more in mind than using UGA as a springboard to the NFL.  Case in point- What did he do that made Ga any better in relation to the rest of the SEC ?

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

@Redfin Maybe it's an indication of GA's current coach that they weren't better with this guy in the backfield.

aarh
aarh

@Ron Mexico @Redfin It's kind of hard to win w/ him when he missed extensive time due to multiple injuries, & even when he did play, then he often did so hurt. It's not the coaches fault that he got hurt.

seminoleking
seminoleking

latest example of why richt and the bullfrogs are a garbage organization. 

BostonBullDawg
BostonBullDawg

@AlwaysReady I love me some Todd Gurley, but the Falcons seem pretty happy with the guy they have carrying the ball...who happens to be leading the league in yards...and touchdowns.

Matt S.
Matt S.

*First 5 games...


I've seen this stat on his "First 4 games", but it is wrong and everyone keeps repeating it without verifying.  


He only had 9 yards in his debut game.

Mix2011
Mix2011

@Matt S. He didn't start on the week 3 game.  He came in to get reps and he only had 6 carries.  The stats people are talking about are the games he has started since then. 

partlycloudy
partlycloudy

Can we get him back to help out on Saturdays?  This is like when Herschel left and one guy said he didn't care whom Herschel played for on Sundays, as long as he could still play for UGA on Saturdays, LOL.  Good for Gurley.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@twelveofthirteen

The lying jerk's too big a coward to come on here and admit his hate-fueled "miscalculation"--unless he sees this comment. He'll just continue to pretend he "has no idea" how TG's doing.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

I've stayed quiet all season but to all of the Tech haters who claimed that Gurley wasn't that good and didn't deserve a Top 10 selection...HA.

Savdon
Savdon

Ditto what Zooker said. Also, can you imagine the attention TG will receive if the Rams move to LA? 

Zooker
Zooker

I could not be happier for the young man.  We are proud of you, 3/30.  DGD!