Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens showcases a run by NFL rookie running back Sony Michel of the Patriots and why it’s a great example of a good finish against contact.
If you read the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication, you know that I’m not a college football fan. Watching the sport is a job and I know a little too much about university life to view college football with any shred of innocence.
Still, I am a fan of the pedigree that the University of Georgia touts as a running back school. Sony Michel was one of its best. This weekend, Michel displayed a subtle move that all backs should consider when attacking a defender.
This ain’t the world’s biggest cocktail party but Michel runs thru the safety like it is. pic.twitter.com/Jeh4cfSqSh
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 17, 2018
A lot of backs attack a defender in this situation with the shoulder closest to the opponent. However, Michel turns into the safety with his inside shoulder so he could avoid making contact with his ball-carrying arm. For a back who has incurred a lot of fumbles during his Georgia career, Michel is an intelligent runner and this finish protects the ball and still earns him leverage to drive through contact and gain another seven yards on the play.
If switching the ball isn’t feasible, using the shoulder away from the ball is a great alternative. How well Michel protects the football is an unwritten story. If he succeeds in doing so, he has the skills to become New England’s first all-purpose back since Corey Dillon.
For college, NFL, and NFL draft analysis subscribe to the RSP site and receive notifications of the latest post via email. Scroll to the bottom of this page and simply enter your email address.