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Herschel Walker: Todd Gurley can play every down if he has to

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Todd Gurley is special (1:31)

The His and Hers crew debate if Rams RB Todd Gurley is already worthy of being compared to all-time great running backs. (1:31)

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Todd Gurley wasn't the only former Georgia Bulldogs running back at St. Louis Rams practice Tuesday afternoon.

In town for a Bellator MMA event Friday night, former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker stopped by the Rams Park training facility to see how his fellow former Bulldog was doing.

Walker took a few minutes during practice to heap praise on the record-setting rookie. Asked to compare Gurley to another back or two, Walker said Gurley has the look of multiple legends, but one in particular stands out.

"I remember two weeks ago I saw him hurdle a guy, and I never watched a lot of Gale Sayers, but I remember watching Gale Sayers do that once, and I thought, 'He looked a lot like Gale Sayers,'" Walker said. "I thought, 'Man, that's pretty cool.'"

Walker said he has spoken to Gurley many times over the years, including occasional texts this season, but Tuesday brought the first chance for the pair to meet in person.

Walker spoke to Gurley as well as other Rams players and coach Jeff Fisher after practice.

"That was pretty cool," Gurley said. "I have kind of, like, talked to him over the phone, but I have never met him before. He just told us good job and keep it up. It was good seeing him."

Given Gurley's early success -- he set a record Sunday for most rushing yards in a player's first four starts since the AFL/NFL merger -- Walker said he sees Gurley as a reminder to the rest of the league of the importance of running backs.

"You see what he's doing," Walker said. "He stacks up very well. This is not something I am saying now, but I said it early on of Todd and also [Melvin] Gordon: They are throwbacks. What I mean by that is they are running backs of the old-school.

"They can play a lot of different plays. You see running backs today go in for first down but not on second down, not on third down. Todd can play every down if he has to. He can play on third down. He can line up in the slot. He can catch the ball. That's what made him special is he's a guy that the coach can use in a lot of different places. Think about this young man just coming off of injury not long ago, and now he's out doing the things he's doing."

Fisher has had an open-door policy for former players, even those who didn't play for the Rams, since he arrived in St. Louis as coach in 2012. Fisher played for the Chicago Bears from 1981 to '85 but never played against Walker, who was in the United States Football League from 1983 to '85 before moving to the NFL.

Upon seeing Walker, who at 53 is still considering one more mixed martial arts fight and claims to weigh only 2 pounds more than his playing weight, Fisher said he is happy his career never intersected with Walker's.

"I'm really lucky I never had to tackle him," Fisher said. "[There's] a lot of history there, a lot of history with Herschel, and hopefully we have got a great future with Todd."