Going into the 2022 NFL season, the Los Angeles Chargers have been in the enviable position of being one of the most talented teams in football.
They have had a potent offense for the last couple of years, but now their defense has been supercharged thanks to multiple additions, both on the front seven and in the secondary.
It has caused an increasing number of observers to pick the Chargers to win the AFC West and possibly even the entire conference.
On Wednesday, they took another step in that direction by signing running back Sony Michel.
The #Chargers are signing RB Sony Michel, per sources. Another back in the fold for a loaded offense.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 31, 2022
Michel was recently waived by the Miami Dolphins, and he will now be heading back to Southern California.
He may be more and a luxury than a necessity for the Bolts, but this is a solid move that will give head coach Brandon Staley an additional option on offense.
Michel Gives Los Angeles Another Reliable Tailback
In Austin Ekeler, the Chargers have already possessed one of the NFL’s better running backs.
His 911 rushing yards last season may seem nothing more than very solid, but he is a dual-threat back who amassed 1,558 total yards from scrimmage, which ranked sixth in the league.
He had 11 rushing touchdowns and nine receiving touchdowns, giving him a total of 20 offensive touchdowns, the most in pro football in 2021.
But Michel now gives the Chargers a different look in the backfield.
At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, he’s a little bigger and beefier than Ekeler, who is more of a finesse tailback.
Michel has good bursts of quickness when he finds an opening and is good at hitting the gaps in coverage.
New Chargers RB Sony Michel:
Downhill quick. And that burst, too. pic.twitter.com/3KdcLfrhnT
— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) August 31, 2022
Last year, he put up 845 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, and at age 27, he is about the same age as Ekeler.
Many key members of the Chargers on both sides of the ball are in their 20s, giving them time to grow and gel as a unit as quarterback Justin Herbert continues to develop.
But there is something else about Michel that could pay some serious dividends, perhaps just several months from now.
He Has Championship Experience
The Chargers, despite possessing solid talent for most of the past 15 years, have had trouble making the playoffs, as they’ve made it to the postseason only twice since 2010.
But Michel is one of a few new members of the team who own at least one Super Bowl ring.
He was a rookie on the 2018 New England Patriots, and that season, he posted 931 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in just 13 games.
In the playoffs, he came up big with 336 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in three games as the Patriots won their sixth world championship of the Tom Brady era.
While there, Michel was a teammate of cornerback J.C. Jackson, whom Los Angeles also acquired for this season.
Last season, Michel went to the Los Angeles Rams, who won the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals.
There is an old saying that experience cannot be taught, but teams can import experienced players in order to make themselves more experienced as a whole unit.