Having gone 9-8, the Detroit Lions are trying to take the next step as an organization and find some sustained success in the future.
Getting that done has come with a lot of hard work, and will require even more hard work in the future. But already, running back David Montgomery sees the Lions as a team on the rise that is about to get something cooking for the future.
Speaking to the media after signing with the team on Thursday, March 16, Montgomery had quite an eye-opener of a quote as it relates to the Lions. As he said, it is simply special to join a team before they really take off, something Montgomery sees happening soon.
“To get the opportunity to come here and play with a team that’s starting something crazy, to be able to say I’m part of it, I’m blessed. I feel very, very excited to be able to get into their offense that’s so powerful and dynamic. So I am excited to be here,” Montgomery explained to the media.
Seeing a player leave an NFC North rival for another isn’t always common, but for Montgomery, it’s clear he believes the Lions are gearing up to be special. He also sees an opportunity to make a big impact in a quality offense and running back room.
Specifically, Montgomery loves the idea of running behind Detroit’s offensive line, which moved people last year en-route to the team having the 11th best rushing offense in the league.
“You salivate a little bit. You get three Pro Bowlers in an offensive line, and them having high expectations for themselves and me having high expectations for myself, it’ll be really good. Being able to have a great room, being able to have Craig Reynolds back. Jermar (Jefferson). Being able to play with (D’Andre) Swift will be nice. I came from a great running back room and I’m walking right back into one so I’m excited to kind of get around those guys and play football,” Montgomery said.
Clearly, the opportunity to join such quality teammates in Detroit on a roster that is ready to make a major leap was too good for Montgomery to pass up. Not only does he believe in the Lions, he’s ready to be a selfless player, too.
David Montgomery Ready to Do Anything to Help Lions
Relative to what Montgomery wants to do to help the Lions, there is no question about his role. It’s likely the Lions will want him to be a big part of the mix, but Montgomery isn’t taking anything for granted.
In perhaps one of the better team-first moments of any Lions press conference in recent memory, Montgomery told the media that he didn’t much care what his role was in Detroit. Whether it revolves around running the ball or even bringing Jared Goff water on the field if he needs it.
“If I need to go out there and pass protect every play I’ll do it. If I need to go play PP on a punt, I’ll do it. If I need to play gunner, I’ll do it. If Jared (Goff) needs some water, I’ll give it to him. It’ll be good. I’m just here to service the team and be whomever coach (Dan) Campbell needs me to be,” Montgomery explained.
Montgomery could be expected to shoulder plenty of the load capably, and that’s especially true given the team lost Jamaal Williams this offseason. Williams contributed 17 touchdowns last year and 1,066 yards, so it isn’t likely the team will be asking Montgomery to play on special teams or pass block exclusively.
Still, it’s special to hear a star player would be willing to pass up the chance for some statistical dominance just to have a shot at playing with Detroit’s offense. That’s a major statement about the kind of culture the team is building right now.
David Montgomery’s Stats & Highlights
After being drafted into the league in 2019 as a third-round pick out of Iowa State, Montgomery wasted no time making an impact for Chicago.
As a rookie, Montgomery rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns while adding 185 yards and one touchdown through the air. He would go on to have 1,070 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020, chipping in seven more scores in 2021.
In total, Montgomery has put up 3,609 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns, while adding 1,240 yards and four touchdowns through the air. He gives a team some solid pass catching as well as running.
Though he’s being humble, it’s clear Montgomery will be as big a part of what the Lions are building as any player, even if he already sees the team as one that is poised to show out in the future.