The lone touchdown scored on Feb. 3, 2019 had Sony Michel’s fingerprints on it.
It arrived behind I-formation, a tackle-eligible line and a pair of tight ends with seven minutes remaining at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And it saw the rookie running back take the handoff from quarterback Tom Brady and plunge in from two yards out. A 10-3 game it became.
From Super Bowl LIII with the New England Patriots to Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams he has gone since then.
“For me, the second time is really trying to appreciate the journey,” Michel told reporters during his Wednesday video conference. “Soak it all in, take it each day at a time, not trying to rush the process, not trying to rush to the game and really trying to take it in and realize how special these moments are.”
Michel’s previous moments included an NFL rookie playoff record with six rushing touchdowns and two campaigns atop New England’s rushing ranks. He averaged a career-high 5.7 yards per carry in a complementary role last season before being traded to Los Angeles midway through the preseason.
By then, the former No. 31 overall pick out of Georgia had appeared in a combined 42 games under head coach Bill Belichick.
“Being coached by Coach Belichick made me a better player in terms of he taught me to be a professional,” said Michel, who turns 27 next week. “Me coming into this league young, not really knowing much, being put into that system of doing your job, being a professional, it takes you a long way.”
Since becoming a Ram in exchange for 2022 fifth- and sixth-round selections, Michel has provided stability to a depth chart that went through Cam Akers’ Achilles injury and Darrell Henderson’s MCL injury. The impending free agent has totaled 1,043 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on 256 touches from the regular season to the postseason.
“The biggest thing that I learned there is preparation, the way you prepare, and that comes in all aspects,” Michel recalled of his Patriots tenure. “Off the field, on the field, what are you doing to be the best version of you? And that’s something I learned there and I basically use the same tactics here.”
Sunday’s kickoff between Los Angeles and the Cincinnati Bengals is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at SoFi Stadium.