Mike McCarthy doesn’t look at Ty Montgomery as a receiver anymore. But does the Green Bay Packers coach consider the third-year pro a No. 1 running back after Montgomery made the full-time position switch midway through last season?
"I think Ty definitely has that ability,” McCarthy told reporters at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix.
Montgomery averaged a remarkable 5.9 yards per carry last regular season, and he rushed for three touchdowns in the regular season and two more in the playoffs.
Still, there’s a big difference between the 77 carries Montgomery had in the regular season and the 239 carries that Eddie Lacy averaged per year over his first three NFL seasons. When Lacy signed with the Seattle Seahawks in free agency earlier this month, it left Montgomery as the Packers’ only running back. Since then, they re-signed Christine Michael to a one-year deal, but it contained almost no guaranteed money (just a $25,000 signing bonus) and his spot on the opening-day roster is far from assured.
This is a key offseason for Montgomery, who last spring spent the majority of his time working with receivers coach Luke Getsy. This offseason, he’ll work almost exclusively with running backs coach Ben Sirmans, who was instrumental in the conversion process for Montgomery last season.
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. His fantasy stock in 2017 will depend largely on what else the Packers do at the position. Montgomery is best suited to be part of a committee since he's already shown a tendency to get dinged up. He'll be a PPR option in the middle rounds.