Lions Snag Rising Offensive Mind From Colts to Lead RB Room: Report

Scottie Montgomery

Getty Scottie Montgomery coaching ECU in a 2016 game.

The Detroit Lions continue to maintain a unique NFL coaching staff, and even though there’s been plenty of changes this offseason, that is going to remain the case.

On Monday, February 6, Detroit’s 2023 staff got a little bit more interesting with the news that the team would be hiring Scottie Montgomery away from the Indianapolis Colts. Montgomery will come to Detroit and become the team’s Assistant Head Coach as well as coach running backs.

Breaking the news on the Montgomery front was NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero. As Pelissero also noted, Montgomery was in demand in the hiring cycle, as “multiple teams” were apparently considering adding him to their staff.

“The Lions are hiring Scottie Montgomery as their Assistant Head Coach and he’ll coach the RBs, per source. Montgomery, who most recently was the Colts RB coach, is a strong and respected veteran addition to Detroit’s staff who multiple teams have had interest in,” Pelissero tweeted.

Joining the Lions, Montgomery will get to work with D’Andre Swift, who’s rushed for 1,680 yards and 18 career scores. Jamaal Williams is a free agent after rushing for 1,066 yards and 17 scores in 2022, but Montgomery could have him as well if the Lions re-sign him as many hope.

With Indianapolis, Montgomery has coached plenty of star players at the position. He has mentored the likes of 2021 All-Pro, Pro Bowler and rushing leader Jonathan Taylor, Zack Moss, Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson in the last two years. He might also come with the advantage of being a future coordinator candidate.

In a piece by Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star, Montgomery discussed his hopes for an offensive coordinator role in the future. As he said, its’s something that he is thinking of as he goes about his other responsibilities.

“Of course I want to be a coordinator in this league,” Montgomery said in Erickson’s piece. “I think that’s pretty evident around the league. People know that. But I also know there’s a lot that goes with having the responsibility of the room that I have.”

Detroit brought back Ben Johnson this offseason, but Johnson’s star could only grow in the years ahead. Getting Montgomery some time around Johnson might help prepare him to potentially take the reigns in Detroit one day.

Clearly, Montgomery is a coach that has a good track record along with age on his side at just 44 years old. The best could be yet to come for his future.

Montgomery Replacing Departing Duce Staley

The reason Montgomery was hired in the first place? The Lions lost Duce Staley last week, who was their former Assistant Head Coach as well as running backs coach.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, who broke the news on Wednesday, February 1, Staley will be leaving the Lions to join Reich’s staff in Carolina this coming season.

“Per sources, Lions Assistant head coach/RBs coach Duce Staley is leaving to join Frank Reich’s Carolina Panthers staff,” Graziano tweeted.

Pelissero himself confirmed the news that Staley would be the one leaving, adding that to his tweet about Montgomery taking the job.

“Montgomery replaces Duce Staley, who is expected to reunite with Frank Reich on the Panthers staff,” Pelissero tweeted.

Staley was hired by Dan Campbell away from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021 when he accepted the Detroit head coaching job. The last two years as running back coach, Staley has overseen a major overhaul in terms of ground game success for the Lions.

Now, Montgomery’s job is to find a way to get the same things done with the Lions that he has managed to do in Indianapolis.

Montgomery Career Stats & Highlights

In terms of pedigree, Montgomery will bring that and more to the Lions. Like most of Detroit’s coaches, Montgomery has previous playing experience in the NFL to rely on.

After going undrafted out of Duke as a wide receiver in the 2000 NFL draft, Montgomery started his career with the Carolina Panthers, then went on to play three seasons for the Denver Broncos. He would end his playing career with the then Oakland Raiders in 2003. Montgomery posted modest NFL stats, with 160 receiving yards, 370 return yards and one total touchdown.

As a coach, Montgomery has made his biggest mark. He went back to college and started his career as a wideout coach from 2006-2009 with Duke. Then, he got the call to the NFL in 2010 to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers as their wide receiver coach. While there, he mentored the likes of Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders, Antwaan Randle El, Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery. Wallace and Brown made the Pro Bowl in 2011.

Get to Know Scotty Montgomery | Running Backs CoachLearn more about the Indianapolis Colts new running backs coach Scottie Montgomery as he shares his past coaching experience and what excites him about working with the team's young running back unit. Subscribe to the Colts YT Channel: For More Colts NFL Action: #IndianapolisColts #Colts #NFL For more Colts action: Like us…2021-03-03T16:36:15Z

Montgomery would then return to Duke as the team’s offensive coordinator, quarterback coach and wideout coach from 2013-2015. That final year, he was finalist for the Assistant Coach of the Year award. The team’s offense was solid during that span, and he helped in developing future NFL wideout Jameson Crowder with the Blue Devils. Following a 9-26 stint as a head coach for ECU, Montgomery ran the offense for the Maryland Terrapins in 2019 and 2020.

In 2021, Montgomery was hired to coach running backs in Indianapolis under Frank Reich, and that’s where he has been prior to coming to Detroit.

A unique playing and coaching career should only help Montgomery in his quest to try and get the best out of a key skill position on the Detroit offense, as well as raise his own star in the coaching ranks.

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