David Montgomery Earns Big Approval From Ex-Coach: ‘Lions Got a Dawg’

David Montgomery

Getty David Montgomery celebrates a 2019 score for the Bears in Detroit.

The Detroit Lions moved on an upgrade at running back, snagging David Montgomery formally of the Chicago Bears ahead of 2023 free agency.

Montgomery is a player that has become well known in the league since he entered in 2018, and many from Detroit know that to be the case as a team that opposed him for years. Former NFL coaches and defensive coordinators also know this to be the case.

After work of Montgomery’s agreement with Detroit leaked, the internet was lighting up about his fit with the team. Former Indianapolis Colts coach and Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano saw a tweet from Evan Fox of The Pat McAfee Show about Montgomery. As he confirmed, Montgomery is a player he loves and yes, in fact, a dawg.

“Absolutely LOVE DM! Yes, Foxy. B. N. L. Just got a DAWG!!!,” Pagano tweeted to Fox.

Many in Detroit have been torn about the notion of adding Montgomery no matter how talented he is, simply because it likely comes at the expense of the team re-signing Jamaal Williams, their own beloved back.

Though Williams is likely to move on, it’s nice for fans to see a former coach holds Montgomery in such high esteem. Pagano is a good one to offer his opinion, too. Pagano was a defensive coordinator in Baltimore in 2011, then head coach for the Colts from 2012-2017 where he ran up a 53-43 record and a 3-3 mark in the playoffs.

In Chicago, Pagano got to know Montgomery when he was the defensive coordinator for the Bears in 2019 and 2020. He had to watch Montgomery play and practice up close, and as a result, has a good idea of what makes him tick and what kind of talent he is.

Clearly, he appreciates the player as well as Montgomery’s fit in the Motor City. That’s great news for Lions fans about their new running back.

David Montgomery Offers Lions Classy Fit

It isn’t just the on-the-field where Lions fans could be expected to score with Montgomery, but off-the-field as well.

Whereas Lions free agent running back Jamaal Williams was beloved for his connection with the fanbase and in the community, Montgomery could be expected to pick that right back up based on what has been said about him after the move was revealed.

As The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain tweeted, Montgomery is the whole package for the Bears in terms of being a fan-favorite, active in the community and also an advocate for real-world issues. As a result, he represents everything a team would want in a football player even though he didn’t return to Chicago.

“David Montgomery was a fan favorite. He was active in the community and an advocate for mental health. He represents what Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus want. At times, he was the team’s best offensive player. But the Bears have Khalil Herbert. Just how it goes for running backs,” Fishbain tweeted.

In terms of what he does off the field, Montgomery is involved in Fuel Up To Play 60, a program that is described on the Online Sports Database website as, “the leading in-school health and wellness program empowers students and educators to work together to build healthier schools and create healthy, high achieving students.”

It doesn’t look like the Lions are going to miss a beat in the character and competency department with Montgomery when he comes on board, which is good news. He will fit what the team expects from their players in terms of hard work as well as good community representation while being a team player.

Bears Fans Frustrated With Loss of David Montgomery

After the news of Montgomery’s departure broke, many Chicago fans and those who follow the team were unhappy to lose the running back, especially to the division rival Lions.

NFL.com columnist Adam Rank, a noted Chicago fan, was in his feelings as the news broke the night of Tuesday, March 14. As he said, he simply didn’t want to talk when things were playing out.

“I don’t want to talk right now,” Rank tweeted after seeing the news break.

Radio host Mark Carman of the CHGO Bears Podcast took that a step further, explaining in a tweet why the move to let Montgomery leave could be seen as a mistake for Chicago.

“This is not the news we were looking for on a lot of levels. Number one, he’s moving in the division. That’s annoying. The Lions are good and getting better and now they’ve got a very solid running back in David Montgomery who’s going to be highly motivated to beat his former team. Number two, and I think the most off-putting part about it: $18 million over three years. $11 guaranteed. Really? Guy who’s beloved in the locker room solid on the field, done everything off the field for the Bears. That’s not a lot of dough,” Carman said.

Add this up, and it’s becoming more obvious by the minute the Lions may have scored big with their move to add Montgomery to the roster. Most who have seen the runner up close know what a good move it could prove to be.

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