The Los Angeles Rams’ main goal this offseason was to improve upon last year’s excellent season that ended with a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.
One area that head coach Sean McVay has tried to improve upon is player health and longevity. When star running back Todd Gurley missed the final two games of the regular season last year, he was never the same upon his return.
This year, Gurley has been on a very strict practice regimen. As of now, he is only practicing every other day. Because of Gurley’s limited practice time, backup running back Malcolm Brown has been the focus of the run-game in practice.
Despite that, McVay will not indicate if Brown will have a bigger role once the regular season arrives, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com:
“That’s to be determined,” McVay said, when asked if Brown in particular could play a larger role this season on offense. “That’s a product of some of the other things that end up happening.”
Both Brown and Gurley, along with the rest of the Rams starters, were held out of the entire preseason. McVay is hoping that a lighter workload for Gurley will ensure the issues he encountered last season will not be duplicated. If that comes to fruition, Brown would likely see a majority of the time as his primary backup once again.
However, Brown has been more than happy to see his worth for the team grow this offseason. Primarily, the Rams made his importance clear when they matched the Detroit Lions offer to Brown this offseason.
Furthermore, Brown feels that the coaches holding him out of preseason is a sign of their confidence in him:
“It’s not just confidence in myself but these coaches and my teammates that have confidence in me,” Brown said. “And for the coaches to look at me as a player who may have a crucial role and not playing in the preseason and everything, that’s something I’m happy about, and it just kind of shows that the coaches have trust in me and confidence in me.”
Although McVay will not provide clear cut answers about almost anything this offseason, Brown feels that his experience with the starting unit is invaluable.
Brown only played about 11% of offensive snaps last season, but there is really no way of telling which way that number will travel this season. If Gurley can remain healthy all season and rookie running back Darrell Henderson shows his potential, it would not be surprising for Brown to play even less than 2018.
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