Packers Should Make a Point to Throw to Ty Montgomery

When it comes to the Green Bay Packers running backs there are a lot of different viewpoints. Some love the group of Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery and Devante Mays. Others, don’t exactly feel the same way.
 
No doubt, there are reasons for optimism. As rookies, Williams and Jones combined for 1,004 total yards and eight touchdowns. They averaged 4.3 yards per carry. Williams finished at 3.8, while Jones averaged 5.2. However, the latter carried the ball just 81 times due to injury.
 
However, he had his moments, especially early in the season. Going off for 125 yards against Dallas and 131 against New Orleans was impressive. So was Jones game-winning touchdown run against Tampa Bay. 
 
Williams didn’t come up with as many big plays but he showed bell-cow qualities. Williams had only two games with more than 80 yards rushing, yet, he had three that he carried at least 20 times. He’s also a strong inside runner that complements Jones very well and is great after contact. 
 
The question is, where does that leave Montgomery? 
 
Head coach Mike McCarthy has already indicated the team will use a running back by committee approach. That’s probably the right call. I don’t know if one back in this group is capable of carrying the load.
 
Montgomery certainly hasn’t looked like he will ever be able to. He just seems to injury prone. He finished last season with just 71 rushing attempts, after playing in just eight games. He didn’t play poorly, but he never really got a chance to get his season off the ground.
 
As a rookie, Montgomery played in just six games and in 2016, he saw action in 15, however, still had injury problems. Montgomery is still a player capable of making big plays and contributing, the key is using him the right way.
 
Recently, McCarthy said Montgomery will remain a running back and with the depth at the position, that’s a good call. However, here’s hoping the Packers utilize Monty a little differently in 2018 and by that I mean, throwing him the ball more.
 
It’s no secret that Montgomery was formerly a wide receiver. He has 82 receptions for 657 yards and three touchdowns during his NFL career. In 2016, he caught 44 balls, a number that should be exceeded this season.
 
Certainly, Montgomery deserves some carries too. He averages 4.9 per rush on 151 career attempts. He’s also scored six touchdowns. Those aren’t bad numbers at all. He just can’t carry the rock 15-20 times a game and stay healthy. At least if he can, we have yet to see it.
 
But that doesn’t mean he can’t be an effective player. The Packers just have to maximize his touches. As a back, he should get 5-10 carries a game unless he gets on a roll. McCarthy likes staying with the hot hand and that’s never a bad idea.
 
But his normal role should be an active one, especially with the wide receiver depth looking a little questionable. I’m not saying Montgomery should be used in that role full time, but he should get some snaps from the slot. 
 
Motion him out and throw it to him, get him in open space. The former kick returner excels in that part of the game, give him a chance to make something happen. The Packers really haven’t had a good pass catching backs since the days of Dorsey Levens and Ahman Green and it's time to add that facet back to the offense. 
 
Jones has shown some ability there as well, but if Montgomery plays 15 or 16 games this season, I see no reason why he shouldn’t have 50-60 receptions at least. 
 
Running backs with pass-catching skills are tough to defend. That’s been apparent in the NFL the past few seasons, yet the Packers haven’t really found a guy to do it. That is, until Montgomery, they just haven’t figured out the right way to use him.
 
Hopefully, in 2018, that changes, because it’s a role Montgomery could play really well. 

 

__________________________

Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (39)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Summer_PackerBacker's picture

June 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm

I couldn't agree more. He can be the Packer's Alvin Kamara/rookie season David Johnson weapon out of the backfield while still retaining the ability to run the ball when necessary. I'm really excited to see the preseason for these guys, I think Devante Mays could step up and really make this a four-way competition.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:38 pm

Wouldn't that be a dream. Cant wait to find out. The suspense is killing me. Is it July yet.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Ferrari Driver's picture

June 28, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I think Montgomery can function adequately as a 3rd down back, but I would like to see a back that is a little "quicker" in that role to gain better separation from linebacker/safety coverage on the quick slant. However, his larger size should help on a chip block and delay out of the backfield. He certainly is a plus in the locker room and from what I can tell is a model citizen as well.

I believe he was a 3rd round draft choice and I think at that level, the production is less than what is expected.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tarynfor12's picture

June 28, 2018 at 01:03 pm

Montgomery is the .50 cent version of the army knife...can do many things when it isn't falling apart. He needs to be used accordingly and placing any dependency on him,over being the cheap knife, is a bad idea. Use it/him for small jobs that decrease its breakage odds.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
TheVOR's picture

June 28, 2018 at 01:56 pm

Dead right! Perfect analogy! Packers Should Make a Point to Throw to - Any RB in an effective screen passing game! Hope Philbin gets it done. Everyone keeps talking Montgomery in the passing game, Keep saying it people, the only real threat at RB on this roster is the young Mr. Aaron Jones. Hope he can stay on the field, because when his is, good things happen.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Demon's picture

June 28, 2018 at 03:20 pm

Under Holmgren and Sherm Lewis the packers were the best screen team in the NFL. They wold throw screens anywhere on the field. Edgar Bennet and Dorsey Levens were at best average backs but, were excellent screen runners.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:41 pm

Why the dislikes ?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
holmesmd's picture

June 28, 2018 at 10:41 pm

I certainly don’t think EB & Levens were “average backs”! They were very good screen catchers because that’s all they practiced as we did it consistently. Let’s not allow that to detract from their talent running the football.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand10's picture

June 30, 2018 at 12:46 am

Bennett averaged either 3.3 or 3.6 the last time I looked... which was a LONG time ago. But he was a workhorse back in the day facing a lot of nasty 4-3 fronts... give him the ball, stacked box or not...he'd pick up at least 3 and never fell or ran backwards. That is no Emmitt Smith, BUT that kind of hard hit you in yo grill running combined with the occasional screens was enough to hurt other teams. It wore them down. I liked Bennett back in the day, one of my fav players.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:32 am

The Mudder!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Demon's picture

June 28, 2018 at 03:20 pm

Under Holmgren and Sherm Lewis the packers were the best screen team in the NFL. They wold throw screens anywhere on the field. Edgar Bennet and Dorsey Levens were at best average backs but, were excellent screen runners.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

June 28, 2018 at 05:53 pm

Monty is a RB. You can say he's had one good half season of experience that showed he can get the job done. He is also the most injury prone RB that the Packers have on their roster.
With Philbin directing the offense, you better believe that Monty is going to get 10-15 carries/catches per game.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
davy jones's picture

June 28, 2018 at 06:14 pm

Wheel routes--get him out on a LB. There is a mismatch.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

June 28, 2018 at 06:37 pm

Throw him the dam ball.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:33 pm

If the Rookie Wrs can impact. Monty will still be a Rb. I wouldn't be surprised to see 4 wrs on the field this year. The slot position has become the new vogue in the Nfl. More teams are putting their primary players in the slot. The Packers can use monty at RB ,TE and slot. And they know it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:34 pm

Packers Should Make a Point to Throw to Monty.
Packers Should Make a Point to Throw to Monty.
Packers Should Make a Point to Throw to Monty.

There is more to it than that; still, Murphy should make MM write this on a chalkboard 100 times per day until it sinks in.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:51 pm

Among a few others that we all could come up with. Don't know where to begin.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 28, 2018 at 09:58 pm

Let Joe and ARod call the plays.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

June 29, 2018 at 05:37 am

When I think it about just when exactly have the Packers been a great screen team under McCarthy? I mean they didn't kill teams with the screen game even when Philbin was here before but they didn't have to, they had 4 lethal WR's who were to much for just about any defense to handle. Teams just didn't have a 3rd or 4th CB to match up with the Packers 3rd or 4th WR. THAT'S why the Packers were almost indefensible. Throw in Finley and Ryan Grant running for 1200 yards in back to back seasons and they didn't need a screen game!

Hopefully when the "Scrub Brush" was taken to the play book, the Packers made a point of installing more screen variations and will actually USE them in 2018. Montgomery can be an excellent weapon and IMO should be used as THE 3rd down back.

The Packers have so many interesting pieces on this offense it has a chance to be very different from previous offenses under McCarthy. With 2 very good RB's, 3 good to excellent TE's, Cobb, Adams, Montgomery AND a load of big, fast, athletic as hell WR's, the Packers no longer have to line up 85% of the time in 11 personnel. The Packers can be a very diversified offense this year and Montgomery should and could be a huge reason why.

I think McCarthy is feeling the heat and while he's not going to completely get away from his offensive philosophy, he knows he can't keep running the same ole same ole. Montgomery offers McCarthy a piece to help accomplish that.

Hey hopefully with Philbin back we NEVER have to see that pitch left from the shotgun on 3rd and 1 ever again! One can hope at least...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

June 29, 2018 at 07:56 am

"When I think it about just when exactly have the Packers been a great screen team under McCarthy?"

With Brandon Jackson they where at least average at screens. That's all I want. It keeps the defense honest to open up the stuff they really want to do.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Spock's picture

June 29, 2018 at 09:42 am

NP, "Hey hopefully with Philbin back we NEVER have to see that pitch left from the shotgun on 3rd and 1 ever again! One can hope at least..." Two thumbs up for that as well as not using the "surprise" hand-off to the FB on 3rd and one. Talk about predictable.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:18 am

Watching the Eagles in the playoffs last year reminded me just how predictable McCarthy was in certain situations. The "Philly Special" was just one of very unique play calls by the Eagles last season. Obviously with Rodgers out any "Unique" calls McCarthy might have had prepared for the season went out the window since Hundley couldn't even run the regular play calls. BOTH of those play calls need to go to the very back of McCarthy's call sheet.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:39 am

Quarantine those two plays.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:53 pm

Bring back the "wraparound draw"!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:37 am

Great post NP.

"Montgomery can be an excellent weapon and IMO should be used as THE 3rd down back."

Especially see your point on this one. For now at least putting in the other two backs only telegraphs run, including MM's pitch play. Yeesh

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
packrulz's picture

June 29, 2018 at 06:06 am

Lets face it, it will take time for the rookie wide receivers and the FA tight ends to learn all the routes. Since the Packers have lots of quality running backs, why not use more 2 back sets instead of running out of I-formation all the time?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
DD's picture

June 29, 2018 at 09:33 am

Ty will be used some, not so much as a running back. He will be used as a slot receiver when Cobb is injured. My prediction.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
DD's picture

June 29, 2018 at 09:37 am

The Packers need a back in the backfield at all times. The naked backfield doesn't cut it! With no backs in the backfield can you predict MM play call? Da. Keep defenses guessing! MM? Have my doubts.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

June 29, 2018 at 09:43 am

At the start of 2017, with ARod under center, the Packers targeted Monty a lot...
vs. SEA 4 targets 4 catches
at ATL 7 tar. 6 catch
vs. CIN 12 tar, 8 catch

In that span, 23 targets, 18 catches...7.2 ypc.

Then, of course, Monty got hurt against Chicago, missed a couple games, ARod got hurt, and everything went down the pooper.

Over that same span:
Davante Adams 23 targets, 14 catches
Jordy Nelson 17 targets, 13 catches (missed the Atlanta game)
Randall Cobb 26 targets, 19 catches
Martellus Bennett 21 targets, 11 catches

In the end, they WERE targeting Monty until he got hurt. Two of those three games (Atlanta and Cinci) they were in catch-up mode, but Monty was getting the ball thrown his way by #12 pretty frequently.

I've been calling for the same kind of RB usage that was mentioned above: Kamara (81 catches)/Ingram (58 catches) (Saints 2017) or Coleman (31)/Freeman (54) (Falcons 2016). I think the pieces are there to make hay out of the backfield and take pressure off the outside receivers.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:41 am

Totally agree Dobber. The RBs need to be utilized more, and consistently. I'm recalling one of the early games where Montgomery was getting the ball a lot, almost too much and I'm thinking, fine maybe we should spread it around more, mix it up, bring in some of the other guys. And maybe perhaps that's one of the reasons he got hurt. Point is, MM has stuck with one player per series in the past but there is much more talent now and he needs to exploit that.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since '61's picture

June 29, 2018 at 09:51 am

I think that we're going to see the Packers give their RBs about 10-12 touches a game assuming that they remain healthy. I see them featuring different backs on specific series during the game and utilizing their backs to achieve mismatches against the defense.

In my view the Packers do a good job of using their RBs early in the game and when they play with a lead. However, when they get behind they tend to depend on Rodgers to get them back in the game by throwing almost exclusively to their WRs. Hopefully, with Philbin this will change with more passes to TEs and RBs.

This discussion is interesting to me because many posters here complain that MM gives up on the running game too soon but also complain that MM doesn't use the RBs enough in the passing game. Still others complain that MM is too conservative with his play calling which ultimately is determined by Rodgers at the LOS. The bottom line is that the Packers will use Monty and the other RBs based upon their pre-game film review of the opponent and upon the mismatches they believe they will have against the opposing defense for that game. This will likely result in Monty being featured more heavily in some games and less in others. Like any other player Monty needs to stay healthy in order to become an integral part of the offense for an entire season. Against the appropriate opponents he should be targeted at least 5-6 times and maybe more in a game. If this is done often early in the season he then becomes just as effective as a decoy when opposing DCs adjust to stopping him.

As for screen passes, I like the screen pass, but they are only effective at certain times and against certain defenses. If you put too many screens on film good defenses will recognize when it is coming and they will kill it. Also, the screen pass is a complex play that requires a lot of practice to get the timing correct.

In this era of limited practices it may be difficult to practice the screen pass often enough at the expense of other plays. We may fondly remember the screen plays of the Holmgren/Favre era but they were not operating under the current CBA, which I believe has had a significant impact on the quality of play on the field and has helped to cause as many injuries as it is allegedly preventing. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 29, 2018 at 10:28 am

What separates Montgomery from most RB's catching screens is that he doesn't just catch screens. Monty runs the whole route tree, and with good elusiveness for such a powerful man.

I prefer Jones at RB because he presents a threat on every down that we haven't seen in years--a threat that truly creates pause for passrushers zeroing in on Rodgers.

Monty should see the field--preferably at WR in my view, but that won't happen. Not with McCapers. But at any rate, he should see the field with fairly high usage.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

June 29, 2018 at 10:55 am

I think there's a lot the Packers can do with regard to manipulating coverages by lining up #88 in the backfield with another back and then putting him into motion or splitting him out wide (so he essentially is a WR in that case). Just using that 2-back set and getting him into space will tax defenses...especially if they can find a perimeter WR to keep the safeties honest.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Dobber, can you expand on this proposal? Not being snarky, just don't understand it. Who is the 2nd back going to be? I don't understand 2 RBs if they are Monty and Jones, Monty and Williams. If those are the two RBs, there isn't going to be any surprise since I'd expect one of them to motion to the slot or out wide. We still might get a favorable match-up, I suppose.
Monty and Rip/Kerridge might make some sense to me.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

June 29, 2018 at 01:49 pm

In my oversimplistic view, I see this as forcing a defense to essentially declare its coverages when you move that RB who is a legitimate pass-catching threat beyond simple dump-offs to the slot or out wide. You're going to get a S or a LB (or maybe a CB) to follow that back as he motions (especially in man). You put Williams and Monty back there--both can run, both can catch, both can block (at least some)--you can motion either guy, draw an interior defender outside, and still run the ball.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

June 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm

And a lot better than using Cobb that way.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 07:39 am

Why would I want Williams and Montgomery in the backfield and our only dangerous threat--Jones--on the sideline?

I want Jones in the backfield, Williams and Mays competing to back him up, Montgomery in the slot, Cobb on another team, and an extra young player kept to develop, while we save $9 million to make this a much better team in 2019.

Will I get any of this? Of cours we not. These are the Packers. They only do stupid things.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lare's picture

June 29, 2018 at 03:24 pm

The question is, once Montgomery bulked up to be a better RB did he also take away from his speed and elusiveness as a WR? The Packers list him and Adams as basically the same weight, but if you look at the picture above you can see that isn't the case.

If so, Montgomery could still be pretty effective on screen & swing passes but he's going to have trouble getting separation in the slot against a hybrid safety/cornerback/linebacker.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 07:32 am

Perhaps, but I think Montgomery looks like he still moves well in space--albeit not as quickly as a thinner rookie.

I don't think I'd remove him from the rest of the route tree. Though not quite as quick, he's now much more physically imposing. I mean, would you want to cover this guy in the slot? With who? A little 3rd corner? An overmatched safety who can't mirror cuts?

Meanwhile, Montgomery has simply been surpassed at running back by a player who is more natural to the position. Jones has the first semblance of vision, burst, and in-the-hole cutting ability this team has seen in years.

No, Jones isn't a great back. We don't have a great back. But he's clearly more dangerous than Montgomery, and Montgomery would provide us the most physical slot WR we've ever had.

That's using our players to their potential--not that McCapers has any interest in doing this. We'll just blow $9 million to keep Cobb and release a promising young player for some smarter team to develop instead. It's what we do in Green B ay.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.