FRANKLIN — Sony Michel has a lot of memories from his rookie season floating around in his head, but the most vivid were the ones floating from above on Feb. 3.
“The confetti,’’ Michel said Tuesday. “The confetti coming down. It was so surreal. Because, I mean, you don’t want another team’s confetti dropping on you. That moment? It was just so surreal.’’
Michel and his teammates celebrated through the confetti after dispatching the Rams, 13-3, in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta just over a month ago.
He acknowledged that the idea of being on top of the football world hasn’t completely sunk in.
“It’s something that hits you in the little moments of your life,’’ he said. “It’s like, ‘Damn, we really won the Super Bowl.’ It’s hard to have that on your mind, that we won the Super Bowl, because it’s such a prestigious award.’’
Though he acknowledged there really is no “offseason,” Michel has enjoyed the spoils of victory, including making an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” unveiling a rap song that includes the lyrics, “I only play to win,” and, of course, relaxing.
“It’s been amazing. Just enjoying my time off and getting a chance to get away from football and being able to reflect [on the season] a little bit,’’ said Michel, before a meet and greet with fans, where he signed copies of “Super Bowl LIII Champions: New England Patriots” a commemorative film from Cinedigm, the NFL, and NFL Films.
Michel was a rampaging beast during New England’s playoff run, rushing for 336 yards and six touchdowns in the victories over the Chargers, Chiefs, and Rams. He rushed for 931 yards and six TDs in 13 regular-season games.
He’s far from satisfied, however, and said he’ll soon be back to work in his quest to be an improved player in 2019.
“I’m just going back to basics and get better,’’ he said. “Just trying to work on some of my movements and speed. It’s everything. You always want to work on all aspects of your game.’’
Michel, who wasn’t a big threat in the passing game in 2018, catching just eight passes, was asked if that will be an area he focuses on.
“It all depends on how it plays out,’’ he 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.’’
Already sounding like a seasoned veteran, Michel said once the new season starts, which begins with OTAs and spring minicamp, nobody will be resting on their laurels.
“Once we get back rolling, we’ve got to start from square one,’’ he said. “You can’t really approach it as a Super Bowl champion. You’ve got to go in as somebody who hasn’t won [anything]. It’s going to be a new year, a new start. You’ve got to treat it like that.’’
The Patriots declined to use their franchise tag by Tuesday’s deadline.
The team’s three most likely candidates — defensive end Trey Flowers, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and left tackle Trent Brown — will become unrestricted free agents if they can’t reach agreements with the Patriots by March 13.
It would have cost New England $17.1 million to tag Flowers, $5.9 million to tag Gostkowski, and $14.06 million to tag Brown.
The Patriots haven’t slapped the franchise tag on anyone since 2015, when they used it on Gostkowski. The kicker eventually signed a four-year, $17.2 million deal which, at the time, made him the highest-paid kicker in the league.