Malcolm Brown impressing Sean McVay at Rams camp

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  • By Tyler Horka NFL.com
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IRVINE, Calif. -- The Rams' running back situation looks incredibly thin on paper.

But don't tell that to head coach Sean McVay.

Third-year starter Todd Gurley is one of the future faces of the franchise and remains the clear starter in Los Angeles despite a severe drop in production in 2016. Gurley backed up his sensational rookie campaign with only 885 yards on a mere 3.2 yards per carry last season. Much of his struggles can be attributed to an offensive line that struggled to find its footing.

By signing veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and adding veteran center John Sullivan, the Rams' front office is clearly looking out for the young running back. But other than Gurley, to whom will former first-overall draft choice Jared Goff hand the ball this season? McVay has an idea.

"I think clearly Todd has done a great job kind of leading that group, but I've been pleasantly surprised with Malcolm Brown," McVay said after Monday's practice. "He's kind of got a quiet confidence about himself where [he] just goes about his business. [He's] really reliable, knows what to do and what not to do. And he's a guy that we can depend on."

Brown has spent two seasons with the organization since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2015. He's only compiled 22 carries in those two seasons, but could be slated for a big year given the team's current outlook at the position.

Lance Dunbar, a solid No. 2 RB when healthy, landed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list heading into training camp. Given Dunbar's history of injuries -- he missed 26 games in his five seasons with the Cowboys -- expect Brown to see an increased role as camp goes on.

Until Dunbar gets back, Brown appears to be able to shoulder the load when Gurley needs a breather. McVay said second-year runner Aaron Green and rookie rusher Justin Davis have also gotten looks in camp, but Gurley and Brown currently pack the one-two punch.

"I think we're looking to find who some of the other guys are that will be able to complement that room, and that's something that's ongoing," McVay said. "So we'll continue to monitor that and evaluate it moving forward. I think those two guys have really stood out in terms of Todd being the lead dog, being the epitome of what we want it to look like from that leader in that group. And I think Malcolm has done a nice job of establishing himself as that secondary role."

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