The Falcons offense needs balance to operate at maximum efficiency. Team officials believe Todd Gurley’s capable of giving them a potent run game.
Tom Brady isn’t the only big-name veteran to take his talents to the NFC South this offseason. The Falcons are hoping Todd Gurley can give their rushing attack a major boost in 2020. To do that, the former Rams star needs to prove that he can stay healthy for a full regular-season.
Early reports from Atlanta are promising on that front. Head coach Dan Quinn claims to have “felt” Gurley’s speed during a recent scrimmage. That sort of burst gave the 26-year-old rusher the ability to break containment against the Falcons defense. The team’s coaching staff hopes he can do the same to Falcons’ opponents once the regular season begins.
Gurley projects to be the starting running back for what should be a potent offense. Matt Ryan combines with wide receiver Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to produce one of the league’s most prolific passing attacks. That doesn’t mean the Falcons don’t want to run the ball effectively. The team is at its best when it’s able to keep opponents off-balance by relying equally on both components of their attack.
If Gurley is going to help them achieve that goal he’ll need to be much more efficient than he was during his final season with the Rams. He only averaged 3.8 yards per carry during the 2019 campaign. That’s why Los Angeles saw fit to let him go despite the serious money they had invested in him as a player.
The Falcons believe they can help Gurley revive his career by carefully managing his workload. The teams is intentionally giving their top running back one day off during each block of four-day practices during the preseason. The hope is that giving Gurley additional rest can reduce the negative impact that his chronic knee injury has on his performance.
The team really won’t know what they can get from Gurley until the regular season begins. HeHis body struggled to handle the regular cadence of practice and weekly games with the Rams last season. The Falcons are doing everything they can to manage the situation, but there will still be tangible limits to what Gurley can give them throughout the course of a full season.
It’s still encouraging that Gurley is showing burst during preseason action. That drastically improves the chances that the Falcons can get some measure of productivity from him in 2020. Just how much they can rely on the former All-Pro remains an open question.