Training Camp Buzz: Gurley calls Henderson 'a big help'

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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The 2019 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and buzzy moments from "Inside Training Camp Live".

» For the better part of last season, the Los Angeles Rams leaned on just two running backs. It ultimately proved to be too much of a load for one of the NFL's best running backs.

Todd Gurley was arguably the league MVP through mid-November before fading in the final weeks of the regular season, which carried over into the playoffs as he shared carries with journeyman C.J. Anderson. Despite missing two games, Gurley still topped 300 touches. He was one of five running backs to reach that feat, and only Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley averaged more touches per game than Gurley.

The All-Pro back, voted No. 5 in the "Top 100 Players of 2019," acknowledged on Inside Training Camp Live on Thursday that he is grateful to be a on a pitch count in practice heading into Year 5, splitting reps with Malcolm Brown and rookie Darrell Henderson.

"Obviously, drafting Darrell, that was a big help for me," Gurley said. "... That's going to mean a lot."

Much has been made about Gurley's knee, especially after his trainer confirmed an "arthritic component" limited the 24-year-old back down the stretch last year. Gurley has since downplayed any long-term concerns but said a longer season required him to rest more this offseason, which didn't include OTAs or minicamp.

He's on what's being dubbed "the veteran plan" in the weeks leading up to the season, where he'll skip all preseason contests while taking it day-by-day in practice. It's all part of a new regimen Gurley and the Rams have adopted in hopes of preserving him for the entire year.

"The older you get, the more stuff in your body you start to feel," he said. "You got to start changing your eating habits, the little things, start warming up for practice a little bit more. ... You got to start prepping your body, taking care of yourself off the field a lot more than I used to."

By all accounts, Gurley has looked like himself in training camp. What everyone is waiting to see is how he'll play during the season -- and how often.

» Ed Oliver was kicked out of his first NFL practice Wednesday. That's what happens when you hit the quarterback. The rookie defensive lineman said one of his college coaches had warned him this would happen given how he practices, and sure enough his contact with Josh Allen earned him a ticket out of training camp.

"I knew it was going to come eventually," Oliver said Thursday on Inside Training Camp Live. "I knew that day was coming. Hopefully it doesn't happen again because we need him to win games."

For the record, Allen is fine. And he too recognizes the value of his new teammate.

"Well, I got a bruise on my leg. He might have gotten talked to," a blushing Allen said. "He's aggressive. He's very powerful at the point of attack. Off the ball, he's very quick. To see his quickness and his strength, it's a rare combination for a guy that young to have. It's going to be exciting for us to have him and be able to watch him."

Bills fans are saying the same thing about their second-year quarterback after being acquainted last year. Hopes are higher than they have been in Buffalo, which featured one of the league's top defenses in 2018 to support its rookie quarterback.

Allen, in turn, made dynamic plays with both his arm and legs in leading the Bills to five wins in his 11 starts. He said the biggest key to his growth, and perhaps the team's success, is reducing turnovers. Allen threw 12 interceptions last year on just 320 attempts, producing an interception percentage of 3.8, while also fumbling eight times.

"It comes down to protecting the football, limiting all the turnovers that we have," he said. "We know our defense is going to go out here and do their job. ... In turn our offense has got to score the ball when we get the chance."

Allen is looking to do that by resisting the urge to always make the big play. Helping matters is offensive coordinator Brian Daboll swapping out things the Bills signal caller doesn't like about the offense for what he does. Now Allen has to do his part.

"I really think it comes down to making the right decisions," he said. "I'm a gunslinger at heart, I'm very aggressive when the ball's in my hand. I like putting the ball downfield. I think everybody kind of knows that. It's hard to lose (that instinct) because when it works out it's great. When it doesn't, it's not so great.

"I got to understand when these opportunities present themselves, to push the ball downfield, that I can attack. But when its first-and-10 or second-and-short and trying to skip the third down by dumping I down to one of our backs or to our tight end who's got 5-6 yards to spare, go ahead and make that right decision and give it to them and let our playmakers make some plays."

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