Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens showcases Todd Gurley’s excellent movement in compressed space.
If Todd Gurley’s game was a dish at my Imaginary football diner, he’d be the “Eddie Georgia Plate.” If you’re under 35, you probably only saw George well have his expiration date as an elite running back.
George was a smooth, powerful runner with great footwork and agility. Gurley is George with better top-end speed.
This run against the Eagles below reminds me of movement that I’ve recently showcased with Arian Foster, Darren Sproles, and David Montgomery. The difference is that Gurley showcases them all in one play.
As you watch the run, notice the first move is a jump cut that looks like he’s about to leap forward into the move in the way I criticized prospects Montgomery and Patrick Laird. However, he curtails that forward momentum with a similar displacement strategy that Sproles and Marshawn Lynch use. This affords him the time and space to angle his hips and knees away from the defender shooting inside his lead block.
I like how Gurley uses his free hand to subtly brace himself against his blocker so he can tilt his hips away from the blocker’s legs and squeeze his raised knee just inside his teammate. As he does this, he’s taking consecutive steps with his right foot so he can remain on track in a similar effort we’ve seen from Foster and Montgomery.
This is a player who demonstrates comfort in tight spaces and he can alter his path as his opponents alter theirs and do it with multiple moves that I’ve highlighted as singularly noteworthy elsewhere. That’s special work.
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