FRANKLIN, Mass. — Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel shamed some radio personalities who criticized his early-season performances with his showing in New England’s playoff run.

Michel had 71 carries for 336 yards with six touchdowns in three postseason performances. That came after he carried the ball 209 times for 931 yards with six touchdowns in 13 regular season games.

Michel did start slow after a knee injury kept him limited in training camp and preseason. That led Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti of 98.5 “The Sports Hub” to exclaim, “He sucks! He blows! He’s awful!” in September.

Now Michel is working to get even better in his sophomore season with the Patriots.

“I’m just going back to the basics and get better,” Michel said at a BJ’s in Franklin before signing copies of the “NFL Super Bowl LIII Champions: New England Patriots” commemorative film. “Just trying to work on some of my movements, speed. It’s everything. You always want to work on all aspects of your game.”

Michel ranked 20th of 27 qualified running backs in Pro Football Focus‘ elusive rating last regular season. He ranked 18th of 27 running backs in PFF’s breakaway percentage.

He was sixth of 11 qualified running backs in elusive rating and breakaway percentage during the postseason, however.

Michel caught just seven passes during the regular season and one in the playoffs and suffered two drops. He was asked if he would work on his pass-catching ability this offseason.

“It all depends on how it plays out,” Michel said. “If that’s what coach wants me to do, then I’m going to have to step up and do it. It’s all dependent on what they want my role to be.”

Michel detailed how he could do that on his own.

“You can catch a ball off a gauntlet, off a little machine that shoots you the ball,” Michel said. “You can always work on any aspect of the game.”

Michel said his next step this offseason is getting back into shape, which he expects to do in the next couple weeks.

“Once we get back rolling, gotta start from square one,” Michel said. “You can’t really approach it as a Super Bowl champion. You gotta go as somebody who hasn’t won nothing. It’s going to be a new year, a new start, just gotta treat it like that.”

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images