Patriots: Predicting New England’s starting offense entering training camp

Patriots, Sony Michel
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back: Sony Michel

The Patriots have a very crowded backfield. While it’s not yet time to give up on Sony Michel, if he struggles, the Patriots may turn to 2019’s third-round pick Damien Harris. Right now, Michel offers more upside because of his versatility. Harris just doesn’t have the speed coaches desire out of the backfield. Michel will more than likely serve as the first and second down back down until the red-zone, then in goal to go situations, Harris will receive the majority of the touches.

I expect the Patriots to rely much more on their run game this year. They will use Cam Newton as a runner. Sony Michel will obviously get touches. Damien Harris will have a more prominent role. James White will continue his role as a receiving threat out of the backfield, but he won’t be a feature back in this offense. Rex Burkhead may be the odd man out in this backfield.

Sony Michel didn’t have the breakout year Patriots fans were hoping for last season. However, the added running threat of Cam Newton might open some holes for Michel. When defenses are guessing who will run, it makes it easier on the offense. If Michel can improve on his performance last season, he should be safe. If it’s more of the same, keep an eye on Damien Harris.