Cory's Corner: Patience is a virtue for Ty Montgomery

The Packers have seen the 1,000-yard single season rushing mark reached 23 times by nine different players.

Make that 10 after this season, because Ty Montgomery is the versatile workhorse the Packers have coveted since Ahman Green.

The main issue with Montgomery is that he is a converted wide receiver and many aren’t sure what to expect with a full workload as the bellcow running back. He got inconsistent carries after Eddie Lacy was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Oct. 20.

It didn’t help that the Packers brought in Knile Davis for a cup of coffee and gave carries to Don Jackson. But when Montgomery was allowed to showcase what he could do, he shined.

Granted, the Bears’ defense was toothless last year and has been for quite some time, but Montgomery ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. What really impressed me in that Week 15 game was his patience. He waited for two seconds before seeing a small crack at left tackle and exploded for 61 yards.

Patience is something that really separates NFL running backs. They can be the fastest or the strongest, but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t allow the holes to develop. And what’s even trickier about patience is that it’s hard to measure.

This sounds silly, but it looks like Montgomery has been a seasoned a running back. He isn’t afraid to block and he is a capable receiver out of the backfield.

Oddly enough, the main question doesn’t even lie with him. The question lies with the big boys up front. Last year, the offensive line was outfitted for pass blocking and this year is the same story.

Obviously, with Aaron Rodgers as the team’s centerpiece the passing game remains its beating heart — no matter how times coach Mike McCarthy implores that the running game should be more involved.

But this offensive line isn’t nearly as good as last year or as deep. After losing Josh Sitton last year, the Packers lost T.J. Lang and JC Tretter in the offseason. So don’t be surprised to see Montgomery avoiding the first wave of would-be tacklers on his own.

Right away, it was assumed that Martellus Bennett would be a tremendous weapon for the passing game. While true, that’s only half right. Bennett will open plenty of space for Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. But Montgomery will also see the benefits because Bennett affords so much attention over the middle. A delayed shotgun handoff should make the center of the field even more attractive.

Doubters will also look at the Packers draft after taking three running backs this past spring. But those guys are nothing more than rotational players and will be used to add depth to a position that has been parched for it. (Look no further than Montgomery as proof.)

Montgomery won’t just get 1,000 yards next year, he will be top three in rushing yards in the NFC. You may ask why. Well, the Bears will be awful with a topsy-turvy quarterback situation and Jordan Howard won’t get many late-game carries. And the Cardinals will also be bad with Carson Palmer limping to the finish line. David Johnson is great, but he needs help.

Montgomery will prove what kind of running back he can be this year.

Just be patient. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (17)

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NickPerry's picture

July 01, 2017 at 07:07 am

I don't think it's out of the question for Montgomery to reach 1600 yards rushing and receiving this season, he just needs to stay healthy. Last season he he lead the NFL with a 5.14 yards after contact and forced 24 missed tackles on 106 touches, this all per PFF. Granted it was all on a limited sample but it's still an exciting thought on what he might be able to do over 16 games and be better prepared at the position.
He's worked hard on learning the RB position this off-season according to everything I've read. Having a RB like Monty in this offense this season with more of the 2 TE sets and the ability to run and/or pass out of the same formations will be one of McCarthy's best offenses yet. Better than 2014 and more well rounded than 2011.

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The TKstinator's picture

July 01, 2017 at 11:13 am

It's all about talent, durability, and opportunity. I think he definitely has the first one but there may be doubts about the second and third. I'd love to see him dismiss the second, and the third one is really beyond his control.

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Handsback's picture

July 01, 2017 at 09:41 am

Everybody wants to downplay Monty's capability by pointing out the Packer's additional draft picks of the RBs. Monty will be a stud this year, and the additional picks of RBs will add depth since the Packer's had 0, none, nada, null, RBs that would be classified as tailbacks. (I know The Pack had 2-fullbacks and frankly Rip may end up being a very effective short yardage guy this year.

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Tundraboy's picture

July 01, 2017 at 03:10 pm

I agree. Only question and it is a big one, is whether he can avoid getting dinged up.

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flackcatcher's picture

July 01, 2017 at 11:11 am

"Just be patient" Nicely done Cory. The line between good and great NFL running backs, is the ability to see an opening and cut in a time frame of 1-3 seconds. It's a skill that cannot be taught. One either has it, or not. Both Lacy and Starks has or had it. Montgomery has it. It bodes well for this GB offense this year.(Provided that he does not get too seriously injured. This is the NFL after all.)

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The TKstinator's picture

July 01, 2017 at 11:19 am

Whatever happened to all the talk about the ZBS? I remember when Terrell Davis and Denver shredded us in the Super Bowl with it. Supposedly suited for lighter, more agile linemen (who might naturally be better pass blockers) than the huge, "power" types. I've heard time and time again that GB's line is built more for pass blocking (and with 12 at QB, it sure makes sense), but why can't they also do well with the ZBS? Or, is GB using more of a mixture of ZBS and power running?

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flackcatcher's picture

July 01, 2017 at 11:47 am

GB was a pure zone team at the start of MM tenure, but they dropped the zone run for a more combo block in the latter half of the 2010 season. Their pass blocking has remained a zone type with man to man elements, depending on what the defense front 7 presents. In GB the center is really critical to the offense in what type of block is called. The main reason Rogers takes so long at the line so the center can call of the checks off in resetting the blocking. Both GB centers last year were really good at that. It is a small but really important part that is overlooked on the national TV telecasts. The radio team GB has is really good at pointing out these details.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

July 01, 2017 at 12:29 pm

The fan base really seems split on this. This article glows about Montgomery. The next article will probably detail the rookie running backs and their skill sets and postulate which one will be the big ball carrier going forward. I guess it all just means that we don't just know yet who if anyone will run effectively for the Packers in 2017 and beyond.

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ricky's picture

July 01, 2017 at 01:29 pm

If Montgomery does as well as the article predicts, great. If a RB by committee delivers a solid running game, also fine. But to put huge expecttions on a converted WR entering his first year as a RB seems unrealistic. Frankly, no one knows how well he'll do. Though of course, we all hope for the best. Still, it's the season for everyone to make predictions that will be forgotten by the middle of the real season. So, sure, at least 1,600 yards. Why not?

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4thand1's picture

July 01, 2017 at 07:46 pm

If Monty gets 1600 YFS, 1000 will be receiving. He is a bigger Cobb, as fast and good hands.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

July 01, 2017 at 10:08 pm

Look no further than Christine Michael for an example of zero patience

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The TKstinator's picture

July 01, 2017 at 10:51 pm

I have no time for that.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

July 02, 2017 at 05:14 pm

I could only write half of a

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Bedrock's picture

July 02, 2017 at 06:23 am

He's shown he can run and catch...Can he pass block and make all the necessary blitz pickups? If he can't protect the franchise, he'll see less playing time.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 02, 2017 at 07:45 am

Cory, thank you for this shiny article. Finally we have something to joy about (not just to worry!)...

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

July 02, 2017 at 09:58 am

He's shown the vision and patience to excel in this scheme as a runner. He has the depth behind him if he needs time on the sideline due to injury or his sickle- cell trait disease. If one (or more) of the 3 newly drafted RBs step up, I think we're in a pretty good spot. Ty is an amazing talent, his season numbers all depend on holding onto the ball, protecting Rodgers and keeping healthy. If he has issues with any of these facets, this is when he'll lose snaps. Fingers crossed he keeps on keeping on!

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RCPackerFan's picture

July 03, 2017 at 06:59 am

Truly love this guys ability. Montgomery brings something the Packers have never really had at RB. A true dual threat who can be as effective in the passing game as he can be in the run game.

Montgomery showed me a few things that he was able to do that we haven't seen since Ahman Green.

First his ability to break tackles. A term that was used by LB's when Green played was that he was 'slippery'. Montgomery is very similar. He was not easy to tackle.
The next was his explosiveness. While Ahman probably is still faster, we haven't had a RB that bust off a 60+ yard run and out run people like Montgomery did last year since Green.
Another thing that I love about Montgomery is his vision, patience and ability to get tiny in holes. One of the hardest things for a lot of young RB's to learn is patience along with timing or vision to see holes before they open. Ty showed he was able to be patient until a hole opened and if one didn't he got small and burst threw a tiny gap. But his vision was also able to see the holes open

But what separates Montgomery is his abilities as a WR. It also creates a lot of matchup issues for defenses. If they go with 4 WR's and Ty, how do defenses line up? Even if they go 3 WR's, a TE, and Ty how are they going to line up? It creates a lot of favorable match ups for the offense.

My only concern would be that they don't over use Montgomery. Hopefully a couple of the rookies will be ready to contribute right away. If Williams can be in a consistent rotation, and perhaps Jones could mix in as a 3rd down RB that would keep Montgomery fresh and not wear him down.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing our RB's this year. While I really did like Lacy, he wasn't a perfect fit for our offense. Montgomery is a perfect fit for what we are trying to do on offense.

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