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.
It is unusual for a running back who has had 3 or 4 years college experience to come into the NFL and be good in pass pro. Some coaches do not appear to care to much. Mike Martz being one of the worst offenders of caring about QB protection. McCarthy does care and by the end of last year I think if he had his way no back with the exception of Rip would have been on the field with pass pro responsibility. Even Rip missed on some blitz pickups.
Lacy in 2014 had to be one of the best backs in the NFL in pass pro. Starks was good in 2015 and I would say better than Lacy.
The team does put a lot of emphasis on running back pass protection otherwise you are not on the field. As long as Ty and the rookies are willing to stick their nose into the action, learn and understand the protection calls, and study the defenses blitz tendencies it will be a start. I do worry that most of the backs are rookies or second year guys (TY). Most rookie running backs will not be responsible for pass protection till late in their rookie year and even then you see improvement in their second year.
The biggest problem last year was after Lacy and Starks went down this team had no running backs (except Rip) that were familiar with team protection calls (in some cases play calls or audibles) or responsibilities. Teams did start taking advantage of the Packer backs in pass protection as the season went on. I recall Rodgers taking some big hits from blitzes in the Dallas and Falcons playoff games. You can except to see the same to start the season until defenses pay for trying to blitz. Hopefully Ty and Rip improve and at least one of the rookies show they are capable.
Mike Martz and his seven step drop, deep crossing route offense that never utilized QBs. Lolz. That offense did work for a little while,of course it helps when you have the best LT in football. As well as a couple borderline HOF receivers and the best multipurpose RB the NFL has seen.
Can we just stop with, Lacy averaged 5.3 YPC, Ty averaged 5.9 YPC. That was short term and a new position for Ty where defenses didn’t know how to handle it, not an indication of future performance. You guys can keep writing it in your articles if it pops your cherry, for what seems like the 100th time. Like a team is going to let a guy walk, who averaged 5.3YPC
Let’s approach it this way…Lacy isn’t a 5 YPC back, and neither is Montgomery. For comparison’s sake, let me take you to the real world. Adrian Peterson has a career average of 4.9 YPC. A.P. is arguably regarded as in the top 5 of the best RB’s in NFL history. Petersons averaged over 10 YPC against us in a game. He’s made Dom Capers throw up, call his wife and ask her if he can retire and come home (she said no).
As far as TM’s pass blocking, it is seriously atrocious, downright ugly. But…isn’t that expected? He’s converting positions. He doesn’t pass block, probably never has. So who expects him to all of a sudden step on a NFL field and be a good pass blocker? Personally, i don’t think you become a good pass protector in a off season, even with practice and coaching, this is the NFL. Maybe 2 seasons, maybe. Or better yet, go back to wide receiver once they dump Cobb, because that is what you are good at, that is the skill set you honed for 8-10 years and earned you a spot in the NFL.
Mark it down, i predict TM will be back at wr at the start of next season, at the latest.