Players leaving a team through free agency is never a fun or easy task for the team or the player. In the case of most they are drafted to a team out of college, and become men in and around that team, before starting families of their own all while playing a game for a living.
In the case of David Montgomery, this game may be in Detroit but he will be facing a familiar uniform on defense for the first time in a while.
After spending a college career turning into one of the better college running back prospects in recent memory. His career at Iowa State was good enough to earn him being drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. From there he and Tarik Cohen became a more than viable running back duo at a time when the Chicago Bears weren’t bottom dwellers of the division.
Fast forward to 2023 and Montgomery finds himself in another running back duo again but is the elder statesman this time.
What the Lions have built with Montgomery and first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs could be something special. It took some time, and Montgomery missed of it, but the Lions staff has seen what they can achieve. Montgomery is using his bully running style to attack defenses up the middle once again while Gibbs uses his quick feet to work outside the numbers.
That bullying style is going to be on full display as Montgomery faces his former team on Sunday. The ability to play behind an offensive line that allows him to run with his style is not something he has overlooked since arriving either.
“It’s more of a blessing than anything, just being able to have such a profound group in front of me, I think even when I was in high school and sometimes in college, I never knew what that really felt like, but to have it here and feel it, super, super dope. I think also it gives like me an opportunity to showcase what I can actually do…”
Behind that offensive line, Montgomery has gained 501 rushing yards in five games and is averaging a career-high in yards per game so far. Against the Bears, Montgomery isn’t concerned about his stats, he wants to keep things simple.
“I’m just going to be me, man,” he responded when asked what he hopes to do against his former team. “I’m not going to try to play out of the lines of myself, I’m just going to be me. I think me being who I am is enough. So, I’ll just go out, play the way that I play, play the way that I know how and hope that we execute properly and walk out of there with a dub.”