Packers 2016 Recap: RB Ty Montgomery
- 77 carries, 457 yards, 3 TD
- 44 catches, 348 yards
- Pro Football Focus: 74.3/100 (18th out of 62 qualified running backs)
Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Exceeded
Analysis: Montgomery does everything asked of him and more
When his 2015 season ended after six games, Ty Montgomery had been little more than a rookie version of Randall Cobb: a small, quick slot receiver who relied on agility and sharp breaks in and out of routes to make space before and after the catch. Though he lined up in the backfield, he was little more than a novelty, much like Cobb.
In 2016, though, what was once a novelty turned into an entirely new profession. Forced into the backfield after injuries to Eddie Lacy, James Starks, and just about everyone else the Packers put at running back, Montgomery thrived. Starting with the Dallas game, Montgomery’s role in the offense grew and grew, until he became both the feature back and (in some ways) the offense’s focal point.
Working hand in glove with Jared Cook, Montgomery was a matchup nightmare. Treat him like a running back? He’ll motion out of the backfield and beat you in space. Treat him like a receiver? He’ll stay in the backfield and either gouge your light defensive front or give other receivers more room to operate simply by keeping a cornerback occupied.
That said, Montgomery’s season wasn’t a total knockout. He didn’t handle an overly heavy workload, only carrying the ball more than nine times once. He was also more or less benched in the final game of the regular season after badly missing a block in pass protection. While effective, he’s certainly raw, and if he can’t keep Aaron Rodgers upright, his time as a running back will be short.
Still, Montgomery succeeded where many others failed, and if he can build on that success in any sort of meaningful way, he’ll be a valuable part of the offense in 2017 and beyond.