A chance meeting in downtown Houston could prove valuable for Ty Montgomery and the Packers this season. It was there during Super Bowl week when he ran into Rischad Whitfield, who has quietly become one of the leading trainers of NFL running backs, even though he's better known by his nickname.
"He stopped me in the middle of the road and was like, 'Hey, are you the Footwork King?'" Whitfield recalled. "I told him I was, and he said, 'I've got to get in with you.' We exchanged numbers, and we went right to work."
It's all part of Montgomery's all-in approach, as Whitfield put it, to his conversion from receiver to running back.
The two worked together before the Packers reported for the offseason program in April and after minicamp ended in June.
"He's extremely serious about this," Whitfield said. "Football is a game where you don't really have much time to think -- you've got to react. I'm trying to help him change direction quicker, make his cuts quicker and sharper. We're working on it all. He's all-in at the running back position. He wants to be a dual-threat running back."
Montgomery started getting significant playing time in Week 6, and from that point on, he averaged 73 total yards and 0.27 TD, not including the playoffs. This resulted in 13.0 PPG in PPR formats and 9.0 PPG in standard in that span. In two healthy playoff games (versus the Giants and the Cowboys) he gained a combined 149 yards and found the end zone twice. Montgomery has beefed up this offseason to prepare for a full season at running back. In his Rushing Expectation series, 4for4’s Joe Holka came away impressed: “Montgomery is built like a feature back, yet pairs rare receiving ability with elite vision in the open field. It's surprising how natural he made the transition from wide receiver to running back look, consistently showing patience and maturity between the tackles.”