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Ty Montgomery: From Fringe Player to Featured Weapon

We made much out of the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver depth entering the 2016 season. There were seven guys who we thought had a legitimate claim on a roster spot and that actually turned out to be eight guys when you add in rookie Geronimo Allison. Ty Montgomery was part of that mix when the season started.

However, it started slowly for Montgomery, who was completely forgotten about in the passing game until he was forced into a role at running back. That happened after both Eddie Lacy and James Starks got injured.

After not catching a pass and rushing the football just twice through the first four games of the season, Montgomery was suddenly a featured weapon in week 6. He would catch 20 passes and run the ball 12 times through week 6 and 7. And then, back to being forgotten about until some late-season heroics. The highlight came with a 162-yard rushing effort in week 15 at Chicago.

No doubt it was an up-and-down season for Montgomery, mostly by the hand of Mike McCarthy.

After all, you can only make plays when given the football and often, Montgomery wasn’t given the football. That bumpy ride started in the preseason.

Montgomery said there were times when he didn’t know if he’d even make the team. He also suggested he didn’t feel like his roster spot was guaranteed even after the season started.

“There were times during training camp when I wasn’t even sure I was going to make the team. Coming back off of ankle surgery, I felt like I was getting buried on the depth chart at wide receiver. It seemed like there was no way out, except to get released. I ended up making the team, but I’m not playing and this new kickoff rule — in my mind, I have to kneel everything that’s in the end zone. I can’t even return kickoffs, so I’m feeling like, how am I helping this football team? Am I just taking up space?”

Ultimately, the Packers were lucky Montgomery was around.

It became clear Starks wasn’t able to carry the running game even when healthy and the Packers failed to find much help in Knile Davis or Christine Michael.

Montgomery finished the year with 457 yards rushing, while averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry. That last number suggests the Packers should have handed him the ball more often. He also caught 44 passes for 348 yards and was a huge matchup problem as a receiver out of the backfield.

What the future holds for Montgomery is anyone’s guess. We expect the Packers to add running back depth, either by re-signing Eddie Lacy or bringing in someone else. That doesn’t mean Montgomery won’t or shouldn’t have a role in 2017.

In fact, the numbers say his role should expand.

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Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

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4 Comments

  1. Howard January 25, 2017

    As I have said before Ty’s running style reminds me of another Packer from days gone. That Packer is Sterling Sharpe. That tells you were I believe Ty should be used. Can Ty be used in the backfield to produce matchup problems? Yes. Is Ty Sharpe? Not at this point. Can Ty run the ball occasionally, yes but in my humble opionion Ty is best featured as a receiver either in the slot, spread out, or out of the backfield. So the Packers do need to bring in another running back. I don’t think Starks should be considered. Lacy maybe, but that would come with to many ifs to get into.

    1. PF4L January 25, 2017

      I agree Howard, i cant read the future, and i don’t know, but it seems that rb and TY, aren’t getting along physically. Starks is history.

      Lacy…i guess the door is open, but herein lies the problem. After 4 years, we still don’t know who Eddie Lacy is or what were getting? It’s the same problem other teams are gonna have when they look at him as a free agent.

      Teds style on fringe players is that he usually lets them test the market first. I’m more curious than anything, i would pay cash money to see a photo of Eddie Lacy without a shirt on.

      You just don’t know what you have with this guy, so do you overpay? Wouldn’t be the 1st time for Ted.

      Which reminds me, B J Raji wanted to take the season off. Does Ted chase him? He’s another one you’d like to see a picture of.

  2. Abe Frohman January 25, 2017

    I’m not sure a guy we’re trying to get 10 to 12 carries a game qualifies as a “featured weapon” Frankly I think TT’s mismanagement of this position is pathetic. We went with 7 WR instead of 3 RB. Knile Davis was nothing. Michael appears to be a decent pick up, but still doesn’t appear to know the playbook. We’re really putting any hope on John Crockett – another UDFA?

  3. PF4L January 25, 2017

    It’s off topic, but i have to defend Randall, Rollins, and Gunter for a minute.

    Although i’m not a fan of those three…..

    You have 2 cornerbacks in their 2nd season, you have an UDFA corner in his 2nd season. And Packers coaches and upper management expect these guys to cover the # 1 scoring offense in the NFL. SERIOUSLY?

    Fat Mike said after the game they ran into a “buzzsaw”. Gee Mike…No shit? Ya think? You have no pass rush, and you want these guys that are almost rookies, to stop Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and company? with Matt Ryan throwing the ball?

    This is the NFCCG, and these are your weapons against the NFL’s most potent offense? And you expect to win?

    This is what happens when you have Aaron Rodgers, and you think that’s all you need. It might be all you need to win the tough as nails NFC North. But the NFCCG is the big time.

    It’s funny how the season after he leaves. Cornerback Casey Hayward leads the league in interceptions with 7, has 20 passes defended, a td. Is 2nd team All- Pro. And voted to the Pro Bowl. Isn’t that a fucking head scratcher….Ted?

    The season after Davon House left the Packers he had 4 picks, 23 passes defended. Not too shabby,,,amirite Ted?