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Patriots running back Sony Michel is looking to build on his rookie season in 2019

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Related: Sony Michel reportedly progressing quickly, spending time at TB12

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots Press Conference Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The 31st overall selection of the NFL’s 2018 draft turned out to be a solid pick for the New England Patriots: Sony Michel established himself as the team’s top early-down running back option and played a key role in New England winning its sixth championship. Along the way, the rookie appeared in sixteen of a possible nineteen games while rushing for a combined 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season and the playoffs.

By all accounts, Michel’s first year as a pro was impressive. That being said, he has already set his sights on the season that lies ahead. So what is his goal for 2019? It’s simple: “Just build on those moments,” Michel told NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz last week. Build on what I’ve done. See can I raise it to another level? How much can I learn from it? How much can I take away from it to add? I think that’s what it’s all about.”

“Just building on top and just trying to improve,” added the 24-year-old, who scored the lone touchdown in last year’s Super Bowl. In order to do that, Michel will need to get back on the field sooner rather than later. After all, the second-year man missed a sizable portion of the Patriots’ spring workout program — including all of the team’s mandatory minicamp — after undergoing a knee arthroscopy earlier during the offseason.

Michel is reportedly progressing quickly but he acknowledged that coming back from the procedure is a process, especially with training camp on the horizon. “It’s just something that I’m just kind of working towards. That’s the goal to be ready for training camp,” Michel told Ruiz before adding that injuries are “a part of the game” — and the Georgia product had his fair share of them so far: he missed most of last year’s training camp and three regular season contests due to issues with his knee.

”It’s all part of the game. I wouldn’t relate [this situation] to last year. Last year was last year. This is a whole new time. Anything can happen,” Michel added. The best-case scenario to happen for the running back and his team is that he will be back on the field when New England opens its training camp next Thursday to take regular reps as the team’s number one ball carrier. But even in case he remains limited, the process will continue.