We know Ty Montgomery can run the ball. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry in 2016. We know he can catch the ball. After all, he was a receiver until midway through last season. What we don’t know is if he can pass protect.
If there was a reason Montgomery wasn’t on the field more often in 2016, it was because the Green Bay Packers weren’t enamored with his pass protection.
Despite the gaudy rushing average, Montgomery wasn’t given the ball as often as he could have been. And that’s largely because he wasn’t in the game as often as he could have been.
It’s not surprising that a receiver converted into a running back during an NFL season wasn’t adept at picking up blitzers. Now the Packers are trying to change that.
Montgomery is the clear-cut No. 1 back in Green Bay. If he wants to be a three-down back, he’ll need to improve in pass protection. During minicamp, Montgomery has been focusing on that aspect of his game.
“It’s a mindset,” Montgomery said. “This is what I’ve learned, this is what I’ve been taught: the mindset. It’s a fight, and you’ve got to be willing to go out there and fight. You have to have the mindset of, ‘I wish they would blitz,’ you know what I mean? That’s where I’m getting to. That’s where I’m at right now. I’m ready to go try it out.”
The Packers have Montgomery working with former Packers running back and current coaching intern Brandon Jackson on pass protection.
It’s fair to assume this will be a work in progress. Most starting running backs in their third season have known how to pick up a blitz for three years, plus some college seasons.
Montgomery is behind the curve. Hopefully, he can become adequate in pass protection by the time the season starts. He’s too big of a weapon to be sitting on the bench.