Through his first two seasons, David Montgomery was focused on just one thing. Being a success on the field. Whenever he touched the football, he wanted to produce. He wanted to live up to the big investment the Chicago Bears made in him. After a decent rookie season, the running back came into his own in 2020. His over 1500 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns were a critical part of why they made the playoffs.
However, in his mind? He didn’t do enough. Last season made him realize that all the good things he did individually wouldn’t matter. Not unless the rest of the team performed their best around him. Montgomery now understands his responsibilities go far beyond just carrying the football. He has to step up and assume a greater role as a leader on offense. Something he freely admitted he’s been neglecting for way too long.
“I don’t think I was vocal enough, and I don’t think I left it all out on the field like I should have,” Montgomery said. “I think I could have done better for my guys around me…
…You can’t be a half-assed leader,” Montgomery said. “You got to be a full-on leader and let the guys around you know that you’re here for the greater good of the team at all times.”
This is hardly anything new.
For most young players it typically takes a couple of seasons before they start shifting away from desires of individual achievement and more towards team success. It is great to hear Montgomery reaching this realization. The Bears offense has routinely been the problem for this team going back many years. In his first two seasons, Montgomery watched it finish 26th and 29th. That just won’t do.
Not if he aims to win a Super Bowl. If that means becoming a more vocal presence in the locker room and on the field? So be it. The offense in general doesn’t really have someone like that. Allen Robinson tends to lead more by example. No one on the offensive line has really stepped into that role since Kyle Long left. Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles tried to fill that void but neither could back it up with their play.
David Montgomery could be poised for a big year
The Bears spent much of the past few months looking to bolster the offense. Particularly the offensive line. Teven Jenkins, their rookie 2nd round pick could be especially beneficial given his prowess as a run blocker. When looking at the projected starting lineup, it is one built best for running the football. After the way Montgomery finished last season, this shouldn’t be considered a huge surprise.
He collected 598 yards rushing, 226 receiving, and eight touchdowns in the final six games of the regular season. It really felt like the Bears had discovered the identity they’d been seeking for a long time. Their offensive line is built to go forward and David Montgomery did the rest. Rather than try to make changes, the coaching staff decided to lean into it. They added more maulers up front and added more bodies at running back with the likes of Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert.
This looks like a team ready to ground and pound.
Montgomery knows if he does his job, things can be made much easier for either quarterback Andy Dalton or Justin Fields. However, it can’t be just about how many carries he gets or how many catches he makes. He must do the little things better. Offering encouragement to young players and demanding more of veterans. Press every button he has to in order to make this offense better.