By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Take a look at what Sony Michel said during his introductory conference call, and you’ll quickly see that he sounds like Bill Belichick’s kind of player.
Speaking to reporters for the first time on Thursday night, the newly drafted Patriots running back checked a lot of Belichickian boxes. For instance, he was hesitant to describe himself as a player other than one who can take coaching.
“I would just say me, as a player, I wouldn’t consider myself a person that can critique styles,” said Michel. “I would just say I’m a coachable person, so any way that a coach can coach me to play, I think I have the ability to learn and kind of grasp that information and kind of just put that out on the field.”
But he did open up about his playing style when asked to describe his strengths. Michel is a decisive north-south runner who will pick up yards wherever he can find them, and is happy to simply execute the plays that are called.
“My strengths are just to be able to, I would just say, get positive yards, be able to execute a play whatever my job is on that play,” he said. “Being able to execute a play well, whether it’s blocking, running the ball or catching the ball.”
How about the work he’s put in to get better in the passing game?
“I would say just working on the craft every day, not being satisfied with where you are, whether if you’re winning or losing games,” said Michel. “Being at Georgia, even though we won quite a few games, not being satisfied and being willing to get better every day in practice.”
Get better every day???
How do you get better every day? By putting in the hours. Michel is also ready to do that.
“It’s all about grinding and trying to work for what you want because it all starts with work,” said Michel. “Nothing is given in this game of football so you’ve got to be willing to put in the work to get out what you want.”
It’s worth noting that Michel has one issue that is decidedly not a Belichick kind of quality: he had fumbling problems at Georgia. He acknowledged that it’s an area he’ll need to focus on as he enters the NFL, and it could be a reason he doesn’t see the field right away in New England.
But Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, who addressed the team’s picks after the first round ended on Thursday, didn’t sound terribly concerned about it.
“Yeah, I’d have to look at the stats,” said Caserio. “We spend a lot of time when the player gets here on ball security. I mean, look, you guys are at practice. We do ball security at the first part of practice. Right now, I mean, we don’t think it’s an issue. But look, a player can work on a skill and you can improve a skill. I mean, Kevin Faulk is a little bit of an example.”
Michel obviously sounds ready to put in the work needed in order to fix whatever issues he may have, and ball security will be chief among them – as it is with any Patriots running back. Based on everything else the running back said, it becomes clearer with every word that Belichick loves what he sees.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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