Cory's Corner: What's next for Ty Montgomery?

It looks like the Packers have found their coveted feature running back and the wide receiver position is just as crowded.

I was firmly onboard when Ty Montgomery was given the starting running back reins.

His 162-yard rushing effort against the Bears in Week 15 last year really opened a lot of eyes that Montgomery could be a bellcow back in this league.

And it made a lot of sense because of Montgomery’s powerful running style. He averaged 4.59 yards after first contact last year and he vowed to build on that by bulking up to 220 pounds in the offseason.

Everything seemed to be in place. Then this year happened. He has lacked explosion and it appears that the extra weight has turned him into a different player. He only went over 50 rushing yards one time — and that was on 19 carries in the season opener.

Then he suffered multiple broken ribs in the first quarter against Chicago. He missed the next game at Dallas, a game that ultimately cost him his job. Fifth rounder Aaron Jones lit up the Cowboys with 125 rushing yards — 54 coming after contact. It was obvious to the naked eye that Jones was the better fit.

Fast forward to last week’s loss against New Orleans. Montgomery only played seven snaps and has been transformed into a bit player. He will even begin taking snaps at special teams — something that would’ve been unheard of back in August. How many teams place their No. 1 running back on special teams?

I like Montgomery. He has proven that he’s coachable and he’s a great example for teammates. But he’s in a precarious situation now. He went to coach Mike McCarthy about playing running back when the Packers were woefully thin at the position thanks to injury.

Now that self-sacrificing persona is what may cost him. It looks like the Packers have found their coveted feature running back and the wide receiver position is just as crowded. Even if Randall Cobb or Davante Adams don’t return next season, Geronimo Allison has shown promise and it’s likely that general manager Ted Thompson will take a wideout in the 2018 NFL Draft for the sixth straight year.

Montgomery is a case study in how fast the NFL window can close. Just two months ago, he was full of promise as he looked forward to his first NFL season being a featured running back. But you’re only as good as the guy next to you. And yes, there’s the old adage that says you’re not supposed to lose your starting job to injury, but the NFL isn’t about being nice. The NFL is about winning ballgames and Jones in the Packers’ backfield gives Green Bay the best chance to win.

The walls of Montgomery’s career are now creeping in. He will have to reinvent himself — again — as a special teams sage or else risk the possibility of being cut next August. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? That’s life in the NFL. 

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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 (41)

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NickPerry's picture

October 28, 2017 at 06:47 am

I was wrong about Montgomery too, I thought he could handle the full time position of RB for the GB Packers. Obviously the O-Line hasn't helped but Jones has managed to shred defenses with the same O-Line. But Montgomery can still be of HUGE value to the Packers, it's up to McCarthy to help him do it.

If McCarthy ever tried to emulate what the Patriots do with RB's like James White or Shane Vereen before him, or what the Redskins are doing with Chris Thompson right now they'd actually take advantage of what Montgomery does best...Catch the ball. I still think Montgomery could make a better RB than WR, but that's all on McCarthy now. I'm really starting to wonder if McCarthy is capable though. I mean have you seen the screen pass plays the Packers have attempted this year or most years for that matter? I mean they are UGLY. But it's not just the screen passes. McCarthy has never been one who really incorporates the RB into the passing game a whole lot. I guess that's the beauty of Bill B. He'll take whatever is on his roster and make it into a top 5 offense, most times WITHOUT a running game.

The Packers are going to find themselves in a tough situation next year. Nelson will be another year older. I think this could very well be Cobbs last season in GB. But I think the Packers are going to find themselves in the EXACT same position next year with Adams as they found themselves in this year with Perry. They'll HAVE to pay him. If they don't what the hell is left? This is EXACTLY why Thompson has got to go. The Packers will have the best QB on the planet returning next year with a ever dwindling WR group to throw to. Not to mention the defense is still an issue. IMO that's another reason why Montgomery should be the Packers James White.

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dobber's picture

October 28, 2017 at 07:54 am

Those other guys--Thompson, White, Cohen, etc.--those are mostly littler, quicker guys who don't have the stereotypical size of a traditional RB. Monty doesn't have that problem...if anything, he needs to drop back down to 215 or so to regain a little bit of his burst and elusiveness. But he provides a different dimension--a little more power--than those other guys do.

I find it somewhat ironic that we saw a post yesterday on how the Packer offense needs to 'get creative' and today we see a piece on 'what's next for Montgomery'. In my mind, a healthy Montgomery is the piece that will allow this offense to be a little more creative. Either the two articles were meant to go back to back or it's a remarkable coincidence.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:29 am

I bet they won't do it until they are out of the playoffs. It's more important for Mike to talk tough and stay the course than it is to be successful.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 28, 2017 at 07:31 pm

Wow. Couldn't have put it any better.. His stubborness ensures more losses.

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Dzehren's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:27 pm

TT drafted 3 RB’s in’ 17 for a reason. #88 can still serviceable. Monty can take over for Cobb and erase Cobb’s 10M salary & be a complimentary piece allowing TT to re-sign Davante Adams to a long term contract.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:36 am

" But I think the Packers are going to find themselves in the EXACT same position next year with Adams as they found themselves in this year with Perry."

When in the position of have to pay thinking that one player is the key for holding it together, your Draft and Develop has failed.
Perry got top 5 money and is not nearly a top 5 guy. Adams is not a top receiver and shouldn't be paid as such. Cobb was over paid also so you don't think it's just a Perry attack.
The market sets a price but it doesn't mean all are of its value.
False facades almost always collapse as has the Packers placed value on some as like many here.

Einstein ' s theory of insanity.

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NickPerry's picture

October 28, 2017 at 09:12 am

Cobb has had more than one successful season. If there was a percentage of those who thought Cobb was overpaid at the time I'd doubt it was very high at all. Ask those same people about Perry and I'd bet at least 60% would think they overpaid, at least. Obviously with another injury to his hand and another slow start people are already looking at that as a HUGE mistake.

Someone is going to offer Adams $10 million plus to catch the ball for them next season. The only question is will it be GB? I had my doubts since it's not done yet and I'd imagine they want to see how good he is without Rodgers throwing the ball.

I'd say Thompson's Draft and Develop approach has failed. They have lousy depth. His 1st round picks ever since Bulaga have been terrible though I'm not ready to include HHCD, not yet. Just look at the Packers draft history since say 2011. As a fan it's enough to make you wonder why he gets all the pats on the back he does and actually gets talked about as a legitimate HOF candidate.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

October 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

Hey Tarynfor12, As long as they keep paying Clay Mathews $14.5 Million, Everything will work out just fine. I posted 3 or 4 yr's ago that we Could Not draft our way into our next SB. The "Head Guy" still thinks we can. It doesn't matter to me who gets the blame for the Defense, It's still Terrible!!
LVT

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stockholder's picture

October 29, 2017 at 08:36 am

Adams is not a top receiver and shouldn't be paid as such. Right !!! You understand it. Who cares if someone else pays him 10 mil. The packers need a Nelson. A mis-match again. Adams is no mis-match. He's only a jumper. The #1 CBs will only line -up on him in the end zone now. Is 10 million worth a jump ball type player. His route's are to predictable. His drops are over the middle. Nothing is long. His YAC avg. was because of Nelson and Cobb clearing out the middle. Adams will not be the solution for 10 Million. Adams is problematic in the long run. The packers must address, and fill the Wrs gap, in the next draft. Adams is an unstable plan.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 28, 2017 at 09:14 am

Way too early for that kind of judgement. Montgomery has the skill set the Packers need for their offense. More to the point, teams game plan for him, they don't for Jones. At least not yet. (Bet the Lions will have a spy for Jones next game :) Let's not mistake need for want or desire. The Packers do not want to play Montgomery on special teams. They have no choice. The secondary at this point consists of the walking wounded and Josh Hawkins, who may be the only healthy DB in Green Bay at this moment. And 10 OL on the 53 takes at a minimum 4 slots away from special teams. Remember, the Packer offense is pass to run. Jones is nice, but he does not make the offense go in this scheme. Montgomery can.

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NickPerry's picture

October 29, 2017 at 06:14 am

I have my doubts they'll be "Pass to Run" for the next several weeks of 2017.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 29, 2017 at 07:21 am

Come on Nick. You really think MM is going to change his offense at this late date. (Have I got some swamp land for you...)

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stockholder's picture

October 29, 2017 at 08:15 am

I agree with you. Monty is hurt.

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jyros's picture

October 30, 2017 at 11:41 am

#88 has become hesitant as RB. Seems past injuries have taken their toll.
He’s still a good 3rd down RB and can spell Cobb at slot.

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Lphill's picture

October 28, 2017 at 07:50 am

He is a weapon for the offense , backfield, slot , outside , you can't ask for more, other teams would love a guy like him.

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Handsback's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:04 am

Bingo...He is a weapon and slow start won't change what the Pack can do with him. Healed ribs will make a big difference in what he can do.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:27 am

Other teams would watch tape of James White and try that stuff. One thing we've learned about McCarthy is that he's painfully slow to react and adjust. It's like watching my 1 year old try to catch. His arms don't even move until the ball has already hit the floor.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

More time on the jugs machine.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:24 am

Nick Perry, you are right on. What will limit the Packers this year is not Hundley or any of the players. It is the coaching staff. Not can, but will MM and Capers use the players to best use their skills and make mismatches work? Belichick does this every year. It is like MM is stuck in a funk that is like "I have an all world QB and I am going to run basic patterns. And my QB will throw them open." It seems like every time I go to a game, the other defense plays bump and run and they position themselves perfectly for the route being run. And rarely do I hear announcers say "that was a well designed play" when the Packers are on offense. IMHO

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2017 at 09:12 am

" What will limit the Packers this year is not Hundley or any of the players. It is the coaching staff. "

You can't be serious.....the blame can't be placed entirely on the players or the coaches. But the tape of the players is a product of their ability and the absorbsion of what the coaches teach or the coaches failing to teach. One works off the other and the end result is what each has to offer to the other to work with.

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carusotrap's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:03 am

After nine years with dozens of different players, the defense is exactly as inept as it has always been. That's a coaching problem.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

And the defensive players drafted have had as much effect to it's overall and lengthy failure.
Blame the scheme if you have players for it but the players have for the majority been reaching at best to fit the scheme...that's on Thompson.

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porupack's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:26 am

I think people got over excited on Monty last year based on 2 games. Probably doing the same with AJones based on couple good games. Too few games to make such pronouncements like " Aaron Jones is the real deal" and Monty is now a "bit player".
nty, Jones as well as others each have their strengths....depending on opposing Defense....so I would imagine both will see some big games, and some flat ones....and I am not ready to believe either will be a dominant, feature back, if even one exists on GB squad.

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carusotrap's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

Well, Packers Nation is so desperate for someone to be "the guy" that when someone shows even the slightest sign, it's easy to jump on it. Unfortunately, the only "guy" we have has 13 screws in his shoulder, and it's starting to look like the emperor has no clothes.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 28, 2017 at 07:38 pm

Pats D steps up when it needs to.

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Savage57's picture

October 28, 2017 at 08:37 am

When he took one for the team, and made the switch to RB last season, I said at the time he was taking a big personal career risk for the benefit of the team. Which is a good and bad thing all at the same time.

He provided the Packers an injection of capability to their running game, while surrendering his future as a NFL WR.

It'll be interesting to see how the Packers remember that as he now tries to find a place in the offense.

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Rossonero's picture

October 28, 2017 at 11:35 am

I honestly could see Montgomery dropping weight and going back to WR in 2018.

Why? Cobb and Nelson will be FAs in 2019. Nelson could retire or stay on a final 1 year deal to make a final run and Cobb could be gone.

Assuming they bring back Davante Adams in 2018, then we'd have Montgomery for some depth at WR. It makes sense considering we drafted 3 RBs.

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Since'61's picture

October 28, 2017 at 09:46 am

To me it would be absolutely ridiculous if the Packers can't find a way to utilize Monty effectively in their offense. He can play in the backfield, he can come out of the slot and he can play wide. He could probably even come off the TE spot, not to block but to receive. Think of the mismatch that would create.

There is no excuse for the Packers not using Monty in their offense. Not necessarily on every down but MM should be able to create packages that he will be effective in.

Using Monty on special teams is a waste in my opinion unless they will use him on returns. As for the future, Monty can replace Cobb after this season. I like Cobb, I think he is a very good player and a great Packer but he will be a victim of the salary cap, especially if TT drafts another receiver or 2 in the 2018 draft.

Hundley needs weapons, Monty is a weapon, MM needs to get him involved. Whenever Rodgers returns he is going to need all the weapons this offense has. If we can't get Monty involved in the offense then to me "something is rotten in the state of Titletown". Thanks, Since '61

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4thand1's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

Stubborn MM will probably start Monty at RB against the lions just to try and prove his point. Just like he inserted Monty in at RB after the 2nd int against the Saints. Jones was tearing it up and he sat out the series. They lost yardage and wasted the turnover. The Packers are famous for sticking with what doesn't work and we've all seen this movie before. If Hundley doesn't improve, he'll be there week after week till the end. The overall telling point will be if they lose to the Browns. It will prove that we are at the bottom of the barrel without Aaron Rodgers.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:23 am

To me Ty just could not take the hits. You saw even last year he was dinged up often lots of cramps. He is a gamer he would come in again and look good and the go out.

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cheesycowboy's picture

October 28, 2017 at 09:12 pm

Ty's heart is unquestioned. His health and availability is.
Could it be special teams and spot roles on offense prolong his NFL career? Let's hope so. Living under the shadow of Jerry World, I have a different perspective of players from the DFW area. I am more concerned about his health after football.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

October 28, 2017 at 10:43 am

I wonder if we'll see Monty and Jones in the backfield together? They are both exceptional receivers who can run, so the options are wide open. Swing them out in both directions and the middle could easily be open for a TE.

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Pauly's picture

October 28, 2017 at 01:03 pm

I see Monty replacing Cobb next year as slot receiver, should be larger, stronger, version of Cobb.

Move C MIII permanently to ILB with Martinez 3 downs for rest of his career. Should strengthen run and short pass coverage and eliminate need for Nitro group personnel changes that create chaos.

TT will have 12 or 13 draft picks in 18. ( he had 10 this yr and cut 3) If he uses all 12 through 7 rounds he will probably cut 5 or 6. Not much difference between UDFAs and round 6&7 picks.
I think he should do some draft pick trades and end up with 5-7 picks in first 3 rounds and focus on some speed in WR and top pass rushers first. Forget best athlete BS, focus on known talent at positions.

Hate to think like this but a high draft number this year would be a positive thing for a 2018 AR Super Bowl run.
4-5 new 2018 playmakers would turn this team into a real powerhouse.

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Lphill's picture

October 28, 2017 at 01:24 pm

Guys look at this offense , a good variety of tight ends , a good group of outside receivers , a young running backfield with a stud ,and guys like Monty and Cobb to line up anywhere , what offensive coordinator wouldn't sell their sole for this?

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Lphill's picture

October 28, 2017 at 01:25 pm

Correction soul

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AK Cheese's picture

October 28, 2017 at 02:31 pm

And if Jones goes down? I wouldn't be too hasty and have him on ST. He could lose a few pounds and be back in the mix at receiver as well. School still out on Allison. December is a ways off, lot's of football.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 28, 2017 at 07:49 pm

The fact we are even talking about Montgomery going back to WR next year is ridiculous. How we are at the point of wondering if he will be used this season shows how full of it MM is. If we are not using all the weapons this O has the whole organization needs their heads examined. Just so frustrated with uncovering talent and begrudgingly using it. What's the point when after the season ends they'll talk again about draft and develop. Talk, talk, talk.

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Dzehren's picture

October 28, 2017 at 11:36 pm

No surprise. Moving forward:
2-3 carries and 2-4 catches per game. What’s wrong with that?? The problem is AARON jones is better than money.

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Dzehren's picture

October 29, 2017 at 07:12 pm

Jones is way better than #88. Not evan close.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 29, 2017 at 03:31 am

Monty is a multi-dimensional running back. He is a good runner who can also be motioned into the slot and can run real wide receiver routes, not just leak out into the flat. A guy we could line up in 11 personnel and if match ups are favorable motion him into the slot and send 4 or 5 receivers out into patterns. We never saw that, perhaps because MM is MM or perhaps because Bakh and Bulaga weren't on the field together until recently.

I don't buy the notion that Monty can replace Cobb in the slot or that he took one for the team when he asked to move to RB. I don't think he was a very good slot WR. I'd note that game one in 2016, as a WR, Monty got 11 snaps plus 14 ST snaps. Game two, he was a DNP Coaches decision as a WR, but played 14 ST snaps. Game three he played 4 snaps + 15 ST snaps. Game four he got 2 snaps + 17 ST snaps. He was totally buried on the WR depth chart.

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William Brauer's picture

October 29, 2017 at 06:18 pm

I like him as a versatile player but whether its the ribs or something else, he just doesn't have the burst and looks very pedestrian. I sure wouldn't sign him to any big contract

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