If you’ve paid attention to the Bears’ offseason you’ll know full well that David Montgomery figures to play a big role in the offense this year. As the summer has gone on however, Montgomery has shown up in special teams units, too.
“My name was on the depth chart and I was there for it, available for it,” Montgomery said.
Things get more interesting however, because Montgomery hasn’t been working as a returner. He’s been doing the dirty work that rarely gets noticed, except by coaches.
“That's one thing that coach Eberflus stresses, is if a guy has on a helmet, he wants everybody working,” said special teams coordinator Richard Hightower. “He wants everybody to learn it and I'm all for that. He believes in special teams, as well as everybody here. That's been outstanding and David wants to do some of those things too.”
Normally a team wouldn’t put one of its top players in a position where he could hurt himself on teams, so we’ll see if Montgomery sticks there. Montgomery does add a stout body to a special teams unit that currently features many wide receivers and defensive backs with slighter builds. Smaller, faster guys are important on teams as gunners or jammers. But any special teams core needs bigger guys to block, too.
Special teams is often the way that players towards the back of the roster make the team. It’s an important phase of the game, but it’s hard work and certainly not glamorous (unless you’re Devin Hester). Regardless, Montgomery hasn’t brushed off the new responsibility. He’s delved in, displaying the hard-nosed work ethic that Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus praised when they went through their initial roster evaluations.
“(Montgomery) was taking a couple reps on the special teams and his reps were over and he said, 'Hey, can I get on the scout team since my reps are over? Can I get on the scout team and give these guys a look?’” Hightower said. “Everybody wants to buy in and everybody wants to do something. That's been extremely encouraging so far.”