David Montgomery has many of the hallmarks of a bellcow running back. He’s elusive at the line, is hard to bring down at the first point of contact, and can be employed as a dangerous receiving weapon out of the backfield. But one key component has been missing from his game: breakaway speed. So Montgomery set out to change that this offseason, and said after the Bears’ first set of OTAs that he’s made great strides to become a better runner.
“I’ve been working with probably the best speed trainer in the world in Chris Korfist,” Montgomery said. “He’s actually teaching me how to run... I’ve not been able to run properly the entirety of my life. Me just really not realizing how I didn’t know how to run, he’s definitely cleared that image up for me and he’s definitely helping me out a lot.”
While that may sound crazy to hear, reworking his technique may be paying off already. Back in 2019 at the NFL Combine, Montgomery ran a 4.63 40-yard dash. That’s far from elite speed, and trailed far behind some of his classmates. Miles Sanders and Darrell Henderson each ran a 4.49, Damien Harris clocked in at 4.57 and Myles Gaskin ran a 4.58. That speed has visibly helped each one of those backs in the early stages of their respective careers.
But according to Chris Emma, Montgomery’s work has helped him not only catch up to those other speedsters, but surpass them.
“Since he started working with Korfist, Montgomery hasn't run a true timed 40-yard dash,” Emma said in an article published last week. “But Korfist estimates that Montgomery is now at a 4.44 mark… Montgomery has added 1.5 miles per hour to his speed since he began with Korfist a year ago.”
Just don’t ask Montgomery what he did to find the next gear in his run game.
“If I could tell you that, that’s like me giving you the recipe to my mama’s fried chicken. I can’t do that. It’s too important.”