David Montgomery had a breakout year in 2020. He amassed over 1500 yards from scrimmage including 1,070 rushing and scored 10 touchdowns. This despite obvious problems with the blocking from the offensive line. It was the first true evidence that the Chicago Bears had done right drafting him two years ago. However, those accomplishments didn’t satisfy the 23-year old.
He told the media that he feels his full potential hasn’t been reached. He’s still leaving too many yards and points on the field. A big reason for this being his lack of breakaway speed. That is why he decided to seek out somebody named Chris Korfist. The man is renowned as one of the best speed trainers in the country. Somebody who has worked with professional athletes and track stars alike. Montgomery wanted to see if there was anything that could be done to improve.
It seems the trainer recognized the problems right away.
According to Chris Emma of 670 The Score, Korfist saw an issue with the running back’s style. His pelvis was unstable, sort of like a car with a loose axle. This limited how much power he could put into his actual running. So the training staff taught Montgomery how to adjust his fundamentals, shifting where that power goes. The results have apparently been more than shocking.
“Since he started working with Korfist, Montgomery hasn’t run a true timed 40-yard dash. But Korfist estimates that Montgomery is now at a 4.44 mark, a vast improvement from the 4.63 he clocked at the NFL Combine in 2019. Montgomery has added 1.5 miles per hour to his speed since he began with Korfist a year ago.”
For an idea of how crazy an improvement that is? He is now just two-tenths of a second behind Tarik Cohen in terms of timed speed. Cohen ran a 4.42 back when he was drafted in 2017. It’s actually faster than current NFL stars Ezekiel Elliott (4.47) and Christian McCaffrey (4.48). If those numbers are true, it’s an astounding jump. One that yielded actual results last season.
David Montgomery never forgets his missed opportunities
So did this entire process have an origin point? Indeed it did. The genesis took place in the aftermath of one of the most frustrating losses the Bears suffered in 2019. Their 17-16 defeat at home to the Los Angeles Chargers. Late in the 1st half, the Bears were hoping to drive for a chance to take the lead with two minutes left. That is when Montgomery broke off one of his best runs of the year, going 55 yards.
However, what should’ve been a jubilant moment for him was remembered only with disappointment. Why? It should’ve been a touchdown. There was nobody in front of him as he reached open grass. He was instead caught from behind.
Nobody knew it at the time, but that play proved to be pivotal. Had David Montgomery scored, the Bears likely end up winning the game. They ultimately settled for a field goal on that drive. Had they gotten the extra four points from a touchdown, then the math makes it clear they would’ve won 23-17.
Winning that game likely would’ve propelled them into the playoffs.
Amazing to think how one play can often make a huge difference in a season. Even a positive one like that. Montgomery showed in the many months since then that he refuses to just accept his shortcomings. His goal is about getting better. Finding ways to erase his weaknesses. Be the best possible player he can be. That is a big reason why the Bears drafted him in the first place. It wouldn’t be shocking if he was their best all-around offensive weapon this coming season.