Rams News: Les Snead Explains Decision To Trade For Sony Michel

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

The running back situation for the Los Angeles Rams has been an open question throughout the offseason after Cam Akers suffered an Achilles injury that will force him to miss the entirety of the 2021 season.

In Akers’ absence, the Rams will be leaning on Darrell Henderson to lead the backfield, but he comes with his own concerns as he has yet to play a full 16-game season. Henderson has dealt with his fair share of injuries and gave Los Angeles a scare when he sprained his thumb in practice. Although he avoided serious injury and was listed day-to-day, the Rams know that their running back depth will be tested throughout the year.

It seemed like a foregone conclusion that L.A. would look to add another back to the roster, and it surprisingly came through a trade as they sent out a pair of picks to land New England Patriots running back Sony Michel.

Les Snead explained the decision and revealed that they had been considering the move for a while, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“Early in the down, we identified Sony for many reasons,” Snead said during a video conference Wednesday. “Number one being his experience – meaning a player who’s carried the ball in those big games, big moments, big drives, big series. The experience of where he played and how he was coached. He was one of those players that if we were going to go the route of experience, he was someone that we were definitely eyeing from the start.”

Snead added that he believes Michel could come in and complement the Rams’ other running backs well:

“That’s going to be a complementary backfield,” Snead said. “What he does bring is this element of make a cut, get north and south and get north and south with some force. The physics that he brings to the table – let’s call it a flavor of genre that we felt like complemented our group.”

While Michel has the most experience of all the Rams’ running backs, Snead is not willing to commit to him as the starter as that’s not his decision:

“I don’t think we ever really talked through who starts, who doesn’t, things like that,” Snead said. “I think big picture, conceptually, we felt like, ‘Okay, if we can add someone like Sony, a veteran, number one, come here, learn the offense. Number two, be a complement to Darrell, Jake (Funk) and Xavier (Jones), the guys we have here.’ And then from there, figure out what each player does best and then go into Chicago. … The roles would probably evolve, but Sean may have a more specific answer to that.”

Michel’s role with the Patriots dwindled after the emergence of Damien Harris along with newly drafted Rhamondre Stevenson, so he was an easy target for the Rams to identify. Although Michel has not lived up to his first-round selection, he can play an important role on a Rams team that does not have a viable north-south runner. Henderson figures to mix in with Michel and handle lead-back duties, but the former is a more versatile weapon that is best utilized when he is in the open field.

For now, Los Angeles looks to have found a solid solution to their running back woes but it remains to be seen how quickly Michel can acclimate to Sean McVay’s offense. Hopefully things click right away and he gets off to a good start when Week 1 arrives.

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