LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — David Montgomery went down the list, citing all the reasons he has no problem staying motivated.
The Chicago Bears running back mentioned that he didn’t get many offers from Cincinnati’s Mount Healthy High School and grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money. He hasn’t forgotten all the teams that passed on him in the 2019 NFL Draft before being taken in the third round out of Iowa State.
And he also said that a girl was born in January.
“I am very happy to become a father,” he said. “So just making sure I’m the best version of myself for my girlfriend. But I’m also ready to be the best father I can be.”
Montgomery said that approach applies to all aspects of his life, whether he’s setting the right example for his daughter or focusing on becoming the best player he can be. It also explains why, entering his fourth season and the final year of his rookie deal, he’s not overly concerned about whether he’ll sign a contract extension or become a free agent.
“If you know much about me, I don’t really pay too much for a contract,” he said.
Despite this, Montgomery has quite a lot on the line.
The Bears have made major changes after going 6-11 last season and missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. Chairman George McCaskey fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy and replaced them with Ryan Posey and Matt Eberfluss.
Meanwhile, Montgomery is coming off a tough season. He missed four games with a sprained knee and ran for 849 yards after 1,070 last year. His yards per carry also dropped from 4.3 in 2020 to 3.8.
“He pushes himself every day,” running back Khalil Herbert said. – He tries to be close to us in various ways and always takes care of us.
The play calling didn’t always work in Montgomery’s favor last season. Nagy gave up the run time after time, and Chicago ranked last in the NFL in total offense and scoring.
Montgomery wants to show he can be a top-level running back, and he figures to be Chicago’s primary ball carrier, though Herbert will likely share some of the load after promising to be a rookie.
“I take everything personally,” Montgomery said. – Just as you see lists, I see them too. Realizing that I’m definitely having a baby puts things in a different perspective to tell myself, “You have to go harder.” This is not enough. It will never be enough.” And if it is enough, it will still not be enough.”
So far, Eberfluss likes what he sees.
“He was a professional, and he was from the beginning,” he said. “He’s a very serious guy, a young man, and he’s all about business. He did that from the day I met him.’
Eberfluss said he’s also looking forward to watching Montgomery pass-block and run hard in new offensive coordinator Luke Getsey’s out-of-zone scheme when the team starts practice in pads on Monday.
“He’s very serious, very intense, and that’s very important in this position,” Eberfluss said. “He’s got to hit, take some and hold, defend and fight blitzers, and he’s done that.”
That serious approach, Montgomery said, is ingrained in him. This took hold while growing up and in school and college. He reminds himself of all this when he needs an extra push.
“I know that opportunities don’t last forever, and I know that I’ve met a lot of people in my life who have wasted every opportunity that they’ve had,” he said.
NOTE: OT Teven Jenkins missed practice for the third straight day. Eberflus said Friday he was “working on something with the coaches.”
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