For Detroit Lions fans, seeing Jamaal Williams walk out the door was a sight for sad eyes. His replacement, however, is an enormous upgrade on the field.
Two weeks ago, it was announced that former Chicago Bears running back, David Montgomery, was signing with the Detroit Lions. It came as a surprise for “One Pride” nation because Jamaal Williams seemed to be a guaranteed re-sign.
Fortunately, Montgomery has a deeper bag of tricks. He’s fast, slippery, elusive, and always falls forward. He’s not a big bruising back like Williams, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in power.
At 5-11, 224 lbs Montgomery is the walking definition of a “Dog.”
In his four years with the Chicago Bears, Montgomery has never had less than 200 carries in a season and missed only six out of 66 games.
“To get an opportunity to come here and play with a team that’s starting something crazy, you know being able to say that I can be a part of it, I’m blessed,” said Montgomery in his opening press conference with the Detroit Lions. “I feel, very, very excited to be able to get in that offense that’s so powerful and dynamic, I’m excited to be here”
If Montgomery’s opening press conference is any indication on the type of player he’ll be on the Lions, fans should be excited. He appears to be all-in on the culture inside the organization and is willing to do whatever the coaches ask of him to help the team win.
After signing a three-year, $18 million contract, Montgomery could prove to be a steal for the Lions high octane offense. He has never ran for less than 800 yards and he is a true threat in the pass game. Most notably, he accomplished those feats behind a below average Bears offensive line.
Montgomery and D’Andre Swift now makeup one of the better backfields in the league.
Swift, when healthy, has proved that he’s a special player. However, he’s not the type of runner that seeks contact. He’s an elusive pass catching back that is prone to highlight level plays. Montgomery can do the same, but he won’t go down without a fight.
Watching a highlight reel of any player is exciting, but a talent like Montgomery provides a special viewing experience. While those tapes aren’t indicative to their play on every snap, one thing is very apparent. The former Iowa State Cyclone is not afraid of a dog pile. There are countless plays where Montgomery dives into a sea of defenders. Somehow, he always pops through on the other side.
He might be smaller, but he packs just as big of a punch.
Montgomery’s ability to fight through contact for extra yards is exactly what’s needed, after the loss of Williams. In 2020, Montgomery rushed for over 1,000 yards and totaled over 1,500 yards from scrimmage. In 2020 PFF ranked the Bears offensive line 20th in the NFL. Last season the Detroit Lions offensive line ranked eighth in the league.
Of all the positive attributes discussed above, Montgomery’s best ability has been availability. If that holds true for the upcoming season, there’s no telling what he could provide for the city of Detroit.
Photo Credit: © Daniel Bartel – USA TODAY Sports
Photo Edit: Noah Wulbrecht – WoodwardSports