David Montgomery will go into training camp later this month poised to combat Mike Davis for early-down repetitions from their Chicago Bears backfield.
With Tarik Cohen not anticipating his role as primarily a pass-catching back to change, Davis and Montgomery will take over the Jordan Howard gig, dividing the vast majority of first- and second-down carries. Chicago coaches have insisted Davis has been brought in to play a role, but it’s Montgomery who has the best chance to acquire difference-making reps in 2019.
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The third-round rookie elicited resounding praise from coaches and beat writers throughout offseason workouts. Running backs coach Charles London glowed about Montgomery’s ability to break tackles, noting his”fairly infrequent contact equilibrium .”
“He certainly possesses that,” London lately told Adam Jahns of The Athletic. “It’s important from the running back position since each play isn’t likely to be clean and each hole isn’t likely to be more clean. Sometimes you have to make that on your own. He did a bit of that. This has been something that we noticed. And that is something you can’t coach. You got it or you don’t and that he does. It’s something we immediately noticed about him.”
The opinions on Montgomery’s ability to break tackles stand in contrast to the past two training staffs’ belief that Howard’s biggest battle came in generating yards after contact.
After creating praise during the shorts portion of offseason workouts, Montgomery’s largest test will arise if the pads come on through training camp and into the preseason. We’ve seen rookies crumble under the added pressure, and we’ve also seen young running backs — Phillip Lindsay in Denver is one recent example — shine in camps, flashing tackle-breaking ability.
In case Montgomery lives up to the offseason hype that’s been building, an already multi-faceted Bears offense will make life that much easier on QB Mitchell Trubisky.
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