Stepping into a larger role on the Green Bay Packers in 2016, Ty Montgomery proved that he can be not only an impactful wide receiver, but also a dangerous running back.
Catching 44 passes for 348 yards while also rushing the ball 77 times for 457 yards and three touchdowns, Montgomery’s role fluctuated throughout the season, but when he was thrust into a prominent starter’s workload, he excelled.
On October 16 against the Dallas Cowboys, he only rushed for six yards on three carries, but had 10 catches for 98 yards.
In the following game on November 6, Montgomery amassed 60 yards on nine carries and also caught 10 passes for 66 yards.
However, his best game of the season came on December 18 when he had 16 carries for 162 yards with two rushing scores. Despite his two previous games of double-digit receptions earlier in the season, he caught just two passes for one yard in that contest, with most of the gameplan calling for him to run the ball.
Therefore, he can be viewed as a jack of all trades in the prolific offense headlined by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Heading into the 2017 season, Montgomery is part of a whole new bunch of running backs in Green Bay. The team drafted Jamaal Williams out of BYU, Aaron Jones from UTEP and Devante Mays out of Utah State and also have undrafted signees Kalif Phillips and William Stanback on the roster as well.
The 6-foot, 216-pound Montgomery wants to fully embrace his role in the backfield in the upcoming season, rather than focusing on a potential fifth wide receiver spot.
His reasoning for his desire to line up in the backfield is simple:
"Do I want to play in the NFL for a longer period of time and not be as happy because I'm not having the amount of success that I'd like to have?" Montgomery said Tuesday on ESPN, via Rob Demovsky. "And if running back gives me that, then I'd rather play [6 to 8] years in the league ... having a successful career and having a lot of fun doing it and not always battling to be somebody's fourth, fifth or sixth receiver, even if it meant a [10 to 12-] year career."
He also noted that he was learning on the go last season, and with some coaching and grooming, he’s excited about what might happen in the future:
"I was running a lot on instincts. I knew where I was supposed to be going, but it was instinct," Montgomery told Packers.com. "Now, I know techniques. I know rotations and linebacker positions, and fronts and understanding gap rules and what the defense is supposed to be doing. Now when I get out there, I know my reads and my aiming points and I can just add that to my instincts. I'm excited to do that.”
While the three rookie running backs will likely see the field in some way, shape or form, and with Eddie Lacy gone, it seems as though Montgomery will be the clear choice at the top of the depth chart for the Packers in Week 1 this fall.
And that’s exactly where he wants to be.
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