Los Angeles Rams training camp questions: Who will replace Todd Gurley?

The Los Angeles Rams open 2020 NFL training camp July 28 at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Here's a closer look at a few storylines:

How will the Rams replace Todd Gurley?

Simply put, despite a dip in his performance last season, the Rams cannot replace Gurley. Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers must develop a new running back identity.

"We feel we've got three really good backs," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "What does that mean in terms of the distribution of carries? I think that's to be determined based on how things play themselves out and when we get a chance to actually compete in practice and in those live opportunities."

A sixth-year pro, Brown spent the last five seasons backing up Gurley but emerged last season as a threat in the red zone, rushing for a career-high five touchdowns.

However, the Rams' future run game belongs to Henderson and Akers, who the Rams acquired with third-round and second-round draft picks, respectively, over the last two years.

Henderson flashed last season in limited opportunities but must exponentially build on that performance and continue to develop as a threat outside the tackles.

Akers, who the Rams selected with their first draft pick in April, must prove he can apply the virtual offseason lessons quickly. Known for his ability to run between the tackles, Akers' skillset will be needed.

How will first-year defensive coordinator Brandon Staley's scheme differ from Wade Phillips'?

A first-year defensive coordinator, Staley spent the last three seasons as an outside linebackers coach under defensive guru Vic Fangio.

Staley will keep the 3-4 scheme installed by Phillips, but adjustments will be made.

"That's going to be a comforting thing for our players is they're going to be performing a lot of the same jobs, a lot of the same roles," Staley said. "There's none of those wholesale changes that happen at other places."

The 3-4 system will provide a defensive framework but expect Staley to deploy multiple personnel packages, including defensive-back-heavy ones.

Staley will attempt to design more one-on-one situations for star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey teased that he will assume more duties in the secondary.

After losing Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews, who will provide a pass rush?

The competition at outside linebacker will be one to watch.

The Rams did not retain Fowler and Matthews, who produced a combined 19.5 sacks last season. A starter in 2018, Samson Ebukam returns as a fourth-year pro and appears to be an early frontrunner to earn a starting role.

The Rams also invested in the position this offseason.

Fifth-year pro Leonard Floyd signed a one-year, $10 million contract. The Chicago Bears selected Floyd with the No. 9 overall pick in 2016, exercised his fifth-year option, but cut him before his money became due because of a lack of production last season.

Staley coached Floyd for two seasons with the Bears and expressed optimism about his potential.

"He's versatile because he has such a high football IQ and we feel like he can do the job at a really high level on the edge which is rush the passer, dominate the edge in the run front and then be able to add some value in coverage," Staley said. "That gives us a lot of flexibility."

The Rams selected Terrell Lewis with a third-round pick and expect him to contribute early. Lewis dealt with several injuries in four seasons at Alabama, but his long limbs give him the potential to develop into a top-tier pass rusher if he can remain healthy.

Third-year pro Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who played 10% of the defensive snaps last season, will compete for an increased role. Justin Lawler will return from injured reserve and second-year pro Natrez Patrick also will compete for time.

They also still have Donald at defensive tackle, whose presence commands attention and will assist the pass rush.

What impact will new OC Kevin O'Connell have on Jared Goff?

Following Matt LaFleur's departure after the 2017 season, the Rams played the last two years without a full-time offensive coordinator.

O'Connell joins the Rams after holding the same post last season with Washington. A former NFL quarterback, O’Connell also becomes the de facto quarterbacks coach, which makes for Goff's fifth position coach in five seasons.

"I can already see through this point that he's going to be really good for us and really good for our whole team, I mean for me specifically," Goff said at the conclusion of the virtual offseason program.

Goff last season threw 22 touchdowns and had a career-high 16 passes intercepted. It amounted to his most inconsistent season in three years with McVay.

O'Connell will emphasize fundamentals and ownership of the offense.

"You feel strongly about presenting [Goff] with a plan, where he can truly have some ownership while also understanding at the end of the day it's just about being great with the details of doing his job," O'Connell said.

McVay will continue to call plays.