INDIANAPOLIS — One cut and go.
When Christine Michael is at the top of his game, the film shows that he doesn't take long to figure out where he will make his move, and then uses his speed and power to gain large chunks of yardage at a time.
The Indianapolis Colts on Thursday became the latest team to take a flyer on Michael, as they signed the fifth-year running back in yet another move by new general manager Chris Ballard to add depth and competition to as many spots on the roster as he can.
In fact, Michael's signing appears similar to that of free agent wide receiver Kamar Aiken in March. Like at running back, the Colts seemed to be good to go for the season at receiver, which was arguably the team's deepest position group. But bringing Aiken aboard likely meant those not named T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief would have serious competition on their hands to earn their spot against someone who has already had a good deal of success in the NFL.
At running back, meanwhile, the Colts appeared to be set with Frank Gore leading the charge, Robert Turbin as his solid backup yet again, and then a mix of players — including fourth-round draft pick Marlon Mack — set to battle it out for the No. 3 spot. But by signing Michael, the Colts now have yet another option for their offense this offseason that has shown he can make plays in the league.
Michael was a second-round (62nd overall) selection by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 NFL Draft. In his first stint in Seattle, he had limited carries behind both Marshawn Lynch and Turbin, playing in 14 games with no starts, and running the ball 52 times for 254 yards (4.9 yards per carry) with no touchdowns. He was targeted just twice as a receiver, catching one pass for 12 yards.
He was then traded to the Dallas Cowboys, where he ran the ball 15 times for 51 yards to start 2015, before he was released and spent a few weeks on the Washington Redskins' practice squad. Then came his second stint with the Seahawks, where he played in three games with his first two career starts to end the 2015 season, and then in nine games with seven more starts to begin the 2016 season, running the ball a combined 156 times for 661 yards (4.2 yards per carry) with six rushing touchdowns, as well as 22 receptions for 120 yards and a score.
But with the emergency of rookie C.J. Prosise, as well as the return of the talented Thomas Rawls, the Seahawks decided to part ways with Michael in the middle of last season. The Green Bay Packers, who had been struggling all season with their run game, decided to see what Michael could give them for the last part of the season, and he would play in six games, running 31 times for 114 yards. (3.7 yards per carry) with one touchdown — a 42-yard score against the Chicago Bears — and caught two passes for 11 yards.
So, in total, Michael has played in 37 games with nine starts, running the ball 254 times for 1,080 yards (4.3 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns, while catching 26 passes (22 last season alone) for 107 yards and a score. He has just three career fumbles, and lost one of them.
Despite the fact the Packers re-signed Michael early on in free agency this year, the team would go on to select three running backs in the 2017 NFL Draft, and Green Bay released him shortly thereafter.
Upon his signing with the team last year, Michael told Packers.com that his second stint with the Seahawks turned out to be quite the wake-up call professionally. He said he changed his approach and decided to take the game much more seriously.
"When the Seahawks brought me back, I put a lot into making sure I'm doing everything right, being on time, being a good team player," Michael said. "Some things just don't work out. I just have to regroup and start back over from scratch here with the Packers, and just build good days and learn from everything I went through in the past and try to help become a better person, a better teammate and a better player."
Michael assuredly hopes to continue that trend with yet another chance, this time in Indianapolis.
So without further ado, let's go to the film at Michael's career highlights and take a look at what he's capable of bringing to the Colts' offense:
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