Cory's Corner: Ty Montgomery is a hero because he was humble

The best thing about sports is its uncanny ability to unearth unfamiliar heroes.

Nobody knew what Ty Montgomery was going to do as a running back, but after Sunday’s narrow 30-27 escape over Chicago, he looks like a cult hero with the playoffs right around the corner.

“He’s an excellent young player that keeps maximizing his opportunities,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy after Montgomery ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

Just to put Montgomery’s game into perspective, that was the highest regular season rushing total since Samkon Gado in 2005.

Montgomery didn’t even look like a wide receiver that changed his stripes and became a running back. He looks natural. His vision is superb. He is patient at the line of scrimmage and he can quickly get upfield.

But the reason McCarthy likes him is because he’s not shy about lowering his shoulder and lowering the boom.

“He’s a big back,” he said. “He’s definitely classified as a big back. He’s 225 pounds and he’s a beast. Breaks tackles, but he also has that second gear to get going and get to work on the second level.”

Montgomery’s high water mark for carries was nine coming into Chicago. McCarthy gave it to him 16 times and arguably could’ve given it to him at least five more. What’s so refreshing about Montgomery is that he asked McCarthy about playing running back when Eddie Lacy and James Starks went down with injuries.

You like to see that from a player. I imagine Montgomery isn’t a guy that says, “That’s not my job,” around the Don Hutson Center. He will do whatever it takes to get on the field and with his jump cuts and power, he’s a prototypical featured back.

“You always look for bigger backs, my personal preference, and you want them to be three down players,” McCarthy said, who is now 16-7 vs. “rival” Chicago. “The fact that he’s a real good pass protector, he’s really developed into that. Very intelligent, so he can play both running back and displays (that) he can run a multitude of routes, probably more than the normal running back.”

The most important thing that McCarthy said is that Montgomery is intelligent. That bodes well for Montgomery to permanently put his name on the starting running back job next year. The limbs of his route tree are already quite long, but now he’s proving through his pass protection and his ability to absorb a hit and shed a tackler that he deserves the role.

The best thing about Montgomery blossoming is that it makes the Packers’ decision easier about Lacy, who has continually wrestled with his football motivation. The Packers have a guy right now who was eager enough to ask to play running back if they needed him and now that assertive spark will likely lead to a new job.

The second-year Montgomery turns 24 next month. And since he made the switch to running back late in his career, he has more tread on his tires than top college football running backs that have absorbed plenty of hits.

Nobody thought Montgomery was going to be a hero back in August. The thinking was that he would have to scratch and claw just to earn time as a fourth receiver.

But Montgomery is the Packers’ hero and he’s the reason that Green Bay’s offense has become unstoppable. The Packers are the only team that can stop the Packers right now.

And it’s all because Montgomery was humble enough to put the team before himself.

 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (46)

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:42 am

"Nobody thought Montgomery was going to be a hero back in August. The thinking was that he would have to scratch and claw just to earn time as a fourth receiver."

RC... Are you reading this???

A hero? Perhaps not, but many of us have been a Montgomery supporter since LAST season. After what he showed in the little time he had to show it I was surprised it took as long as it has for McCarthy to REALLY turn to him. Especially when everytime he touches the ball something positive happens 98% of the time. The man is MADE for the position.

Question... If Montgomery had to go to McCarthy to ASK to play RB, then that sure as the hell shoots down the idea MM and TT drafted him with the thought of being a RB doesn't it? Just saying...

Edit....Props to Ted for drafting him though no matter what position. The guy is a Football Player!

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:38 am

lol, Yeah, i read everything that is written on here..

I will admit. Back in August I didn't expect him to be our top running back. I did think he could be a special weapon out of the backfield though. But nothing like this.

I can't wait to hear what someone has to say about this.
'But the reason McCarthy likes him is because he’s not shy about lowering his shoulder and lowering the boom. “He’s a big back,” he said. “He’s definitely classified as a big back. He’s 225 pounds and he’s a beast. Breaks tackles, but he also has that second gear to get going and get to work on the second level.'

What I find funny, is if we question play calling or whatever, we are stupid because we don't know as much as the coach. But its ok to question the coach on a players weight? Kind of ironic...

Here is another good article on Montgomery.
http://www.espn.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/36061/built-to-run-...

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:49 am

You're right... A top RB, no didn't see this coming but a guy who'd get you about 120 yards or so catching and running the ball? I definitely thought that was possible. Montgomery was built for what Cobb was doing in 2014 and it seems a whole lot more. Now if Cobby could just get going like we know he can....

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:30 am

Yeah, I agree. I definitely thought him getting 120 with enough touches was completely possible.

When Ty was drafted the description of him was a bigger Randall Cobb... That pretty much describes him.

Cobb is definitely playing hurt. Hopefully he can get healthier to be more effective the next few games.

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:56 am

Here's another article on Montgomery but this one REALLY makes you wonder why it took McCarthy SO long, especially the yards he gains after contact.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-time-for-packers-to-give-ty-montgom...

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:46 am

It does make you wonder why it took so long to get Montgomery more involved in the offense.

Great article. thanks for sharing.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Because MM is a control freak who begrudgingly adjusts. Sorry but after last year I was thrilled Montgomery was healthy. Thought for sure a high ankle sprain and our luck meant he may not play at all this year or even again. Shows up to camp fully recovered! So what do we do? Not really play him until mid season. Never thought he'd be this good but did see he was someone who could bring a much needed dynamic to the offense. So glad we have him.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:34 pm

Nobody knew he'd be this good. I "knew" he deserved a chance over the other detritus they where rolling out there at running back. It took too long to get him on the field enough. One good side of all this is that his legs should still be pretty fresh when a lot of guys are wearing down.

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dobber's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:42 pm

...And the winner of the award for best use of the word "detritus" in a blog chat is...(sound of paper rustling)...jeremyjjbrown!!! ;)

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:38 am

I'm exaggerating a wee bit but when I first saw it live via Janet Jackson delayed broadcast, I thought I saw him dragging all 11 bears for 5 yards on that play in the link you posted.

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The TKstinator's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:21 am

Yep, he's good.

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Horse's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:52 am

"And it’s all because Montgomery was humble enough to put the team before himself."

"Ty Montgomery is a hero because he was humble" = Cory dislikes Lacy for personal reasons. Ty Montgomery is a hero because he went off for 161 & 2 TDs against Chicago on Sunday.

According to TyMo, he's always wanted to be a RB. I'm betting he let some coaches know. I'm also betting that Thompson noticed Stanford using him out of the backfield before drafting him.

Someone else's take (Sam Monson, 2 months ago):
Montgomery is a natural running back, but the really intriguing thing about moving him back there now is that he has been seasoned as a wide receiver, at least to the point he is competent there—for a running back. Montgomery now becomes a far more dangerous matchup problem for a defense than if the Packers had just drafted him as a running back all along.

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:18 am

Read this article about Montgomery, pretty interesting stuff. I posted the link above but it supports some of what you're saying.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-time-for-packers-to-give-ty-montgom...

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marpag1's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:25 am

CHTV is a damn nice Packer site. You just need to get past the fact that a few of their authors couldn't write an appropriate headline to save their lives. You might need to swallow pretty hard over the repeated abuses of the English language, too.

So far as I know, Ty Montgomery is not a "hero" ... for any reason. Heroes save lives and stuff. Ty Montgomery plays football. And he is neither a hero nor a football player on account of "humility." I'm not sure how we equate asking to get in the game with humility. I'm pretty sure that some of the NFL's biggest divas and jackasses are always asking to get into the game. And that's not "humility" or anything close to it.

But if you can get past the headline and the poor word choices... yeah, Monty is a nice player.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:22 am

My thoughts exactly. I can also see using the term hero as in a childhood idol as some kids look at a favorite sports figure but in reality he had one full game of great play. If he continues to rush like that all the way to superbowl MVP I can see calling him the hero of the 2016 season because he is what the packers needed to take pressure of of Rodgers. Here's to more Montgomery at RB.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:04 am

I have said it for a while now and will say it again. Montgomery is a perfect RB for the Packers offense. McCarthy likes to use his RB's all over the field. He has spread Lacy, Starks, Kuhn and others out wide which essentially became a non factor. Now when he spreads Montgomery out wide he is a legit weapon that defenses have to account for.

The part that impresses me the most with Mongtomery is his vision and patience for a guy who never really played RB before. And his strength and ability to break tackles for a former WR.

His ability to see even the tiniest of holes and explode through them is just incredible. Also his patience is really impressive. Most young RB's have to learn to slow down and let his blockers create a hole. His patience and ability to not panic has really given him a lot of positive yards. You typically don't see many WR's stiff arming players. But as RB Montgomery has already shown a devastating stiff arm. We really haven't had a RB that is as slippery as Montgomery since Ahman Green.
An insane stat is the yards after contact. Per Rob Demovsky 'Montgomery averaged 6.13 yards per carry after first contact on Sunday.'
In that article you have to love what TJ Lang says about Ty.
“It felt like he broke about 20 tackles out there,” Packers right guard T.J. Lang said. “A lot of the time, it was just blocking and glancing over and seeing him, and he was bouncing off guys. You don't really know what to do at that point, just get out of the way and let him run. Obviously, he had some really, really big plays for us.”

Her is a link to that article.
http://www.espn.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/36061/built-to-run-...

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:50 am

I'm pretty sure Montgomery played RB in hidh school. Then again most NFL players were the best players on thier respective teams and played multiple position doing anything it took to win. I didn't know anything about him until TT drafted him though. As soon as he was drafted he was veiwed as a larger Randall Cobb. How the packers planned on using him may have been a secret and may have something to do with 7 WR and 2 RB on the roster.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 11:03 am

I read a few weeks ago that he never played RB on any level. I don't remember where I read that if it was here, on twitter, something from Wilde or Demovsky. I know i saw it somewhere. I don't have anywhere to verify if its true though.

Yeah, I do think they intended on using Montgomery in the backfield more, but likely more as change of pace type of thing. Similar to how Cobb was used.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Check out Wikipedia. He's listed as WR, RB, QB in high school. I can't remember the article I read off hand either but I thought it said he was a RB in high school.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Packers.com Dec 12 It's official: Ty Montgomery is a running back.

I think this is where I read that. It doesn't clearly state it but it says he became a receiver out of necessity and he was given designed run plays at Stanford. He's one of those swiss army knife players. How's that. All I can say is I like the idea of him being able to run routes like a receiver from any position and run the ball from any position. There are so many posibilities with the roles he can play and let's not forget, he made it to Stanford so he can use his head too. That's scary.

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:50 am

Good article RC....Thanks

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Rossonero's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:20 am

Monty is a great story, but McCarthy misused him as a WR (hardly ever throwing to him until 6 weeks into the season). I didn't know he had to ask to play RB, but I suppose sometimes that's what it takes. Either way, he's a godsend since we've been dying for a running game.

Regarding Lacy, we still need him for next year. I think he'll be back on 1 year prove it deal, or perhaps a 2 year deal at most. All it takes is one injury or for Monty's sickle cell trait to act up and then he's out. We must have depth. It's a long season and RB is a bruising position.

Plus, the last thing I want to see is Eddie Lacy bulldozing our defensive players in another uniform. Him and Monty as a 1-2 punch? That would be devastating for opposing defenses.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:10 am

I really think Lacy and Montgomery would make a hell of a duo.

Lacy was having his best year this year until he had his ankle rolled up and twisted.

Next year they could form a hell of a duo. I would like to see Michael come back as well. They have room for 3 good RB's on the roster.

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dobber's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:27 am

Three good INEXPENSIVE RBs...

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:50 am

Next year at least.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

exactly. I don't expect either Lacy or Michael to get a big contract. Most teams don't want to pay a lot for RB's.

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Rossonero's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:12 pm

Agreed. I'd love to have C-Mike back as well. He's the same age as Lacy, but a different type of runner. He should be cheap too. Starks will be 31 in February and entering the last year of his 2 year deal. Is it really worth it to keep him?

Unfortunately, Ted can be loyal -- sometimes to fault -- for keeping his draft picks. I appreciate everything Starks has done, especially his magical 2010 season that gave us a running game, but all good things must come to an end.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 21, 2016 at 12:44 pm

"... but all good things must come to an end." is simply not truth.
In business, when you do not earn your pay check and something more for your boss, you are gone. NFL is business. And I know James S. knows that as well. I think he will (and should) get his chance in the next season TC, and the decision will be made after 3rd preseason game...

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Savage57's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:42 am

Monty's shown he has the chops to be an effective RB. Now that he's shown it, teams will increase their focus on him and game plan to stop him.

Which begs the question - Will MM realize that early on when a team crowds the box and call plays with options that allow AR to audible out of them and exploit that?

I bring it up because Minnesota will have enough game tape to key on him, and D front to back it up. Will we see the Packers effectively counter-punch with plays designed to exploit that scheme, or will Mike 'want to hit our targets' and keep running Ty into 8 men?

In-game adjustments and realization in real-time what a defense is emphasizing hasn't been one of Mike's strong suits.

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Handsback's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:58 am

Monty is a hero to the Packers. He solved their RB position making it one of their strengths. Nick and RC are right, in that MM should have looked to Monty much earlier than he did. If I'm TT, I would say "I drafted for you a Marshall Faulk and the best you can do is use him as a receiver once in awhile?" Also, Monty is the perfect back for the Packer's pass first offense. Just imagine this for a second....Green Bay is in the playoffs, it's the second qtr and they are down by five points to the Seahawks. MM shows Rip and Monty in the same backfield. If you're Carrol, do you stack the box to stop the run? Do you play the safety(s) back in case Monty becomes a WR? So they drop their safety(s) to keep Monty as a RB. Maybe the run is to Rip or maybe Rip blocks for Monty. Either way, the running play could start that drive that brings in the victory! Monty can break those long runs and make teams pay for dropping the safety. Rodgers will make them pay for stopping the run. Heck, Monty can run those WR routes so he has to be covered like by a CB.
This is why Green Bay can beat the Vikings. Use Monty like a hammer and see if they can start a run that features a very good weapon for Rodgers and company. Of course none of this works if the oline doesn't show up or the defense decides to play bullfighter to the opposition's TE and RB.

I didn't see but 2 minutes of the Bear game. Long enough to see Lang and Taylor run into each other and miss on the Bears LB. Seeing that Monty made some huge numbers running the ball made me think that the Oline did something right....I did see it but only on replays, but in the clutch they need to be better.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 21, 2016 at 12:26 am

If I'm TT, I would say "I drafted for you a Marshall Faulk and the best you can do is use him as a receiver once in awhile?"

If I'm TT, I would say "I drafted for you a Marshall Faulk and the best you can do is use him as a receiver once in awhile?"

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Since'61's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:33 am

Early on back in August I wrote that I was looking forward to seeing Monty and Cobb in a backfield together and how defenses would try to stop them, never thinking that Monty would end up as our primary RB. Also, early in the season, when the offense was struggling I called for MM to give Monty more snaps because I believed that he could be a difference maker in our offense. I must admit that I never expected him to become such a huge factor as he has become. Teams will have tape on him now but the question remains how we DCs defend against him, especially when he comes out of the backfield on pass plays. On running plays, even with 8 in the box he has demonstrated that he can break tackles, especially when he gets to the second level. And let's face it, once Rodgers reads 8 in the box he is going to audible to a pass play. Why wouldn't he? Monty's performance has made play action passing an almost automatic given going forward because defense must respect the fake and step up to meet it, Which is just enough to open up the quick passing game for Rodgers and the WRs/TE. With the OL playing as solid as it has the Packers offense will be tough to stop, unless they stop themselves. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:56 am

I will admit to being someone who felt that Montgomery was best utilized in the slot and maybe getting 4-8 snaps in a backfield role. I humbly admit the error of my ways....

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Razer's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:33 am

Very heroic of you to say.

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Razer's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:32 am

All Packer fans are excited about what Montgomery and, yes, Christine, bring to the party. And it couldn't of showed up at a better time. There are challenges for this offense going forward.

- Avoiding our previous running tendencies of down and distance between the tackles predictability.

- Being creative, disguising the run calls to get these guys in space.

- Getting Rodgers to employ the short pass to help move the chains.

There is no reason why this offense can't control 35 minutes of clock and keep defenses totally guessing. The onus will fall on McCarthy and Rodgers to make these new found weapons work effectively. Let's hope that the humility is flowing.

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NickPerry's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:49 am

"There is no reason why this offense can't control 35 minutes of clock and keep defenses totally guessing. The onus will fall on McCarthy and Rodgers to make these new found weapons work effectively."

Talk about hitting nail squarely on the head. This is completely on McCarthy and his "Group" of coaches at the top of the offensive coaching staff along with QB1. If McCarthy, Clements, and Bennett can't figure out an effective game plan with a few twists to keep defenses guessing over the next few weeks, then Bennett and Clements are more worthless than I thought. Who knows, maybe it was Bennett or Clements who finally talked McCarthy into using Montgomery, maybe Rodgers, but between all the "Offensive Genius" surely they can stop defenses from saying they knew what play was coming on a certain down and distance.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:56 am

Given the history, who fears a vanilla game plan next week absolutely nothing like this week say I.

(God, I hope that doesn't happen)

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Horse's picture

December 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

Fangio blueprinted how to play AR while he's hobbled: bring pressure from the perimeter. MM will have a plan to counter that, but AR's penchant for waiting for big plays could be an issue.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:29 pm

Nailed it as well NP. From the ashes we may rise, as long as they don't throw water on it.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:19 pm

It sounds like you are condoning his behavior. Maybe you should look back if you are the main editor and see for yourself.

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JerseyAl's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:43 pm

I don't know the full history, I'm sure, and don't have time to find it out or even care to be honest. This is juvenile stuff I have little patience for. I don't care who's at "fault." I just want it to stop.

The end.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 02:54 pm

But you said you know he didn't start it. Be real Al or nothing. This isn't juvenile on my part. I'll get the LGTB crowd in it if I have to. Stroh has been disgusting and it has gone relatively unnoticed. You can't pick and chose what to delete. It's not the end. You need to retract your statement without deleting it. I don't want this site shut down, at times it is great. Get rid of the fool with the derogatory gay refererences or I will expose it. Either way it will stop.

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JerseyAl's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:02 pm

Be rational for a second. What I was saying was he didn't start this particular exchange. And that part is true. I don't know what went on before and again, I have no time for an "investigation." If you see something like you have described in the future, just alert me and I will take care of it.

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ray nichkee's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:33 pm

But it's been going on for at least a year. I stepped up as his attacking posters became worse. I gave up during the losing days this year because the vultures have been out and stroh has done everything to be an ass. Do me a favor and look back the last two months and verify his posts. Stroh is a loser that somemetimes separates his ass from his mouth. He dosen't deserve any credit at .all

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 21, 2016 at 12:54 am

Monty's snap counts:
Game 1: 11
Game 2: 0
Game 3: 4
Game 4: 2 (Lacy got 26 and Starks got 49 big ones)
Game 5: 35 (Lacy got 31, Starks was out)
Game 6: 60 (lacy and Starks both out).

So, why did it take so long? Same reason MM played Barclay ahead of Spriggs. MM is not a great coach.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 22, 2016 at 12:41 am

Starks > Montgomery not enough?
Barclay > Spriggs not enough?
Hyde > Hayward
Neal > Perry

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