THOUSAND OAKS — Running back Sony Michel arrived to the Los Angeles Rams following a trade with the New England Patriots down the home stretch of training camp, not allowing him much time to get acclimated to the offense prior to Week 1 of the regular season.
Michel, who was primarily the leading rusher in New England, has taken upon a platoon role with the Rams, sharing the backfield with his counterpart Darrell Henderson.
Now, after five games in the books, Michel took the time to reflect on his new team and what the process was like getting up to speed rather quickly.
"I feel like I'm at a place where I've gotten the material, learned the material, still trying to soak in the material but got a good grasp of it," Michel said leading up to Week 6. "For me, because I didn't go through camp, I can still learn every day. I learn through practice reps, game reps, things I could've done better, things I could've done differently. It's been enjoyable."
Michel's knowledge of the offense is at a good place now, he says. In Week 3, a game where Henderson was sidelined with a rib injury, Michel took upon the lead role and handled the duties accordingly as he delivered 79 yards from scrimmage en route to a 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ultimately, the Rams offense ranks near the top in many statistical categories across the board. But one area specifically that Michel wanted to ensure got their praise was the offensive line, stating they're the "best offensive line in the NFL right now."
"These guys here work hard," Michel said of the Rams offensive line. "Watching those guys in how they work, how they take pride in what they do, makes guys like me as a running back want to be able to produce and you will produce because they're doing such a great job."
Michel showed immense gratitude running behind the stout offensive line that the Rams possess. When reflecting on how they may compare to prior offensive line units that he had in previous seasons as a member of the Patriots, Michel said they're two different philosophies and schemes so you can’t compare the two.
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New philosophy and all, Michel and the Rams sit with a 4-1 record. As one of the top teams in the NFC early on, they'll hit the road in Week 6 to face the New York Giants.
In taking the field at MetLife Stadium, Michel will see a familiar face across the way as Giants coach Joe Judge served as Michel's special team's coordinator during his first two years with the Patriots.
"I've worked with coach Joe Judge a little bit because I partook in some special teams when I was at New England," Michel said. "A great coach, I'm sure he's coaching those guys hard. I know he has a physical team. They're coming to be physical and we just got to be prepared."
Michel appeared confident in where the Rams sit right now, crediting quarterback Matthew Stafford for his contributions to this team. Meanwhile, Michel went on to say that it's not just what Stafford does on the field but rather, he's a great man and person to be around on a day-to-day basis.
"I've been watching Matthew Stafford for a while now from afar as he played with Detroit. Obviously, he went to Georgia, a school that I went to so I've also watched him and admired his game. Now that I know him and playing with him, it's even better to know him as a man – a leader on this team. And a great person to be around. A very calm, chill but still dangerous on that field. A very underrated GOAT, I would say. Put him in that category."
Ultimately, Michel delivered high praise all around for his new team and his confidence in getting more reps moving forward, suggests his best football is likely ahead of him.
More from Ram Digest:
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- Raheem Morris Explains How the Rams Will Explore a Committee Approach at Cornerback
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.