Sony Michel isn’t built like C.J. Anderson. Not at 5-foot-11, 215-pounds compared to the 5-foot-8, 225-pounder.
Michel does have one thing in common with Anderson: He’s a past Super Bowl winner – though the title Michel won was against Anderson’s team. And the next thing Michel and Anderson have in common? The situation the newest addition is walking into with the Los Angeles Rams.
On the morning of Wednesday, August 25, before the sun even hovered over Southern California, Michel was traded from the New England Patriots to the Rams in exchange for a sixth round pick in 2022 and a fourth rounder for 2023. The Rams decided that with the injury bug hitting the backfield, a move needed to be made to add depth to the backfield.
Shades of December 18, 2018
The Rams made a nearly identical move in December of 2018: Adding Anderson to spark the running attack amid Todd Gurley‘s knee injury. The end result? The 2016 Super Bowl champion Anderson racking up three straight 100-yard games in his first three games as a Ram, helping culminate in the team winning their third NFC championship.
Only difference is, L.A. made the aggressive move to swap picks for Michel before the season began.
But much like that scenario nearly three years ago, Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters on Thursday, August 26, following practice that he and the team plans to take a conscientious approach with Michel, much like they did with Anderson.
“I would just say take it one day at a time,” McVay told the L.A. media, which is heard near the 30:15 mark of the video below. “You know, fortunately I’ve seen guys that are really conscientious be able to come in at a short amount of time and make contributions. You look at C.J. Anderson for us a couple of years ago and what he was able to do.”
Former NFL RB Turned Play-by-Play Commentator Sees Anderson Similarities
Maurice Jones-Drew was another who broke down what the Rams are getting out of Michel on the latest edition of “Between the Horns” released Thursday morning. Even the longtime Jacksonville Jaguar sees a Anderson-type situation with the new RB in L.A.
“Sony Michel had his great days in New England. He had his bad days in New England. But when he was on, he was on. He’s going to run downhill, he’s going to break tackles, he’s going to be that hammer – very similar to C.J. Anderson when he came in in 2018,” Jones-Drew told J.B. Long and former Ram D’Marco Farr, which can be heard near the 3:10 mark of the video below. “That’s what he’ll be like down the road for you.”
Jones-Drew adds that the Rams are getting someone with high football intelligence.
“Sony Michel brings a different breed of what you’re looking for. He’s a guy that understands the game. He’s been in New England and their system so he’s very smart,” Jones-Drew said.
McVay Anticipates Michel Picking Things Up Quick
Michel’s newest obstacle: Picking up the Rams’ playbook in a short span of time, telling reporters “I’m going to try to dive in and try to learn as much as I can.”
McVay, though, is confident that through RB coach Thomas Brown reuniting with Michel, the Ex-Patriot will absorb the offense quick.
“I think the type of teacher that Thomas Brown is will accelerate that learning curve,” McVay said.
And the goal for McVay and the Rams? Have their new backfield addition ready for September 12 when the Chicago Bears come to Inglewood.
“Everything I’ve heard about Sony and the way that he’s wired mentally, and just the way that he goes about his business, I do anticipate him being a quick study,” McVay said. “The goal is to have him ready to go and be a big-time contributor on the 12th.”