Green Bay Packers: Why Ty Montgomery hasn't carried a big load yet
One of the biggest surprises in the Green Bay Packers offense this season, it’s safe to say that Ty Montgomery will be a critical piece in the playoff push.
Impossible to avoid, the question from the Green Bay faithful has been: Why isn’t McCarthy giving Montgomery more carries? Averaging just over five yards per carry, it seems absurd that the second-year receiver-converted-tailback has only been averaging five carries per game over the past two months.
James Starks has been woefully unproductive, and it appears as though recently acquired running back Christine Michael is still learning the playbook. The signs point toward Montgomery getting the lion’s share of the reps when Rodgers turns to hand off.
However, Montgomery has not been underworked. Given his recent transition to the most gruelling skill position in football, his usage as a change up back is more than appropriate.
When he does go between the tackles, it’s on the draw in passing situations. Rarely does McCarthy let him butt heads with the bruisers in any opponent’s front seven.
Back to McCarthy’s playbook, let’s just say it is complex. It takes time to understand the intricacies and audibles, especially when they mean something completely different at your new position. Montgomery has been working with a growing, yet still limited backfield package.
That only makes sense, as the game plan at the outset of the season was to pound Eddie Lacy straight through the front seven, and wear them out over the course of a game. With a stout offensive line, and oversized back can pick a hole and break through it, you have a lot of options. Smaller rushers would end up on the wrong end of punishing hits in the trenches.
Oct 20, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery (88) runs from Chicago Bears linebacker Willie Young (97) after catching a pass in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, Eddie Lacy was injured in the loss to Dallas. As a result, McCarthy had to adjust his playbook. When your personnel requires swing passes, pitches and off-tackle handoffs, the book becomes much more thin. If they tried to get Montgomery 20-plus touches every week, it would become predictable.
As far as I’m concerned, Mike McCarthy has done a solid job adjusting to get the most out of the players he has. While he took longer than we would have liked to figure it out, the offence is coming together at the right time.
This Sunday, however, the Packers might have no choice but to run Ty Montgomery all game.
James Starks is in concussion protocol after a car accident suffered earlier this week. Michael is on the injury report with an illness.
With temperatures dropping to around zero degrees, Rodgers and his ailing calf may lean on Ty Montgomery to make the offence tick. We might see his first 20 touch game of the year.
Fortunately, when the Bears visited Lambeau Field in Week 7, Montgomery did it all, with nine carries for 60 yards, and 10 receptions for another 66.
From here on, all eyes will be on Ty. We will find out if he’s ready to carry the load, and keep the Green Bay Packers season alive.
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