It’s been a season to forget for the L.A. Rams, their fans and especially reigning Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley. What happened? Remember? It feels like it was just the other day we were all watching and marveling over Gurley’s breakout starting debut versus the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. The hurdling, powerful and burst filled back has hit a wall in his second season. So what next?
Gurley is going to be entering his third season with a new Head Coach, likely a new Offensive Coordinator, RB coach, new GM and maybe even a new team as a whole. We love what Gurley can be and we have seen glimpses of the Gurley we were teased with last year, but let’s be honest. Gurley is not untouchable anymore. With Jeff Fisher gone and Les Snead likely out, there goes two of the integral parts of the draft selection the Rams made for Gurley. Could a regime change be the end of Gurley wearing the horns?
Now, obviously Gurley wouldn’t be released, but if say the new regime in L.A. wants to have their own team and doesn’t want to keep anyone they might trade. Obviously, that’s the least likely scenario, but the likely scenario is the Rams new regime trying to re-coop their first-round pick that Fisher and Snead traded away for rookie QB Jared Goff. Could it be Bettis all over again?
Those of you who may not know Jerome Bettis in his third year (like the one Gurley is entering) was traded away with a third-round pick in exchange for a second and a fourth the year after. Bettis ended up becoming a Hall of Famer and the Rams netted TE Ernie Conwell and OT Ryan Tucker out of that trade which is extremely lopsided to put it lightly.
So I know I just said the next regime could step in and trade Gurley to re-coop a first-rounder, yet Bettis went for a second. Don’t rule out a first-rounder though. Remember Trent Richardson? Yeah, the Browns traded him away to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-rounder so anything is possible.
With all this talk about comparisons here’s a look at Gurley vs Bettis first two seasons:
Gurley: 470 carries, 1,884 yards, 4 YPC, 15 touchdowns
Bettis: 613 carries, 2454 yards, 4 YPC, 10 touchdowns
Now, Gurley’s of course isn’t over, but the same yards per carry? That’s crazy. Bettis honestly had a better start to his career than Gurley and he hit the wall Gurley has hit this season in his third season.
The question remains whether or not Gurley will be on the Rams next year. There is no wrong answer if its between a first-round pick and a struggling Gurley coming back as the starter. The new regime will surely decide that.