Adrian Peterson expects 'big things' from Packers RB Ty Montgomery

Ty Montgomery, who is going to the be the focus of the Packers' running game, spent the offseason training with one of the best in NFL history. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It would be silly, Ty Montgomery admits, for anyone to compare the Green Bay Packers running back to Adrian Peterson.

Montgomery, who is about to begin his first full season at the position that Peterson has mastered, has never carried more than 16 times in an NFL game. Peterson is usually just getting warmed up at that point.

Yet if it looks like Montgomery has a little Peterson in him this season, there's a good reason. The 24-year-old Montgomery spent part of his offseason working out side by side with the 32-year-old Peterson in Houston.

It was all part of Montgomery's conversion from receiver. He sought out the help of many -- from the self-described Footwork King, who taught Montgomery how to improve his feet; to trainer Justin Allen, the brother of Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen; to trainer Abdul Foster, the brother of former Texans running back Arian Foster; and finally to Peterson.

"I was hitting all the spots trying to work on everything," Montgomery said.

Consider Peterson impressed.

"I see why he was able to come in for Green Bay from the wide receiver position and have the type of season that he had," Peterson said. "So I expect big things from him. They're good at the running back position in Green Bay."

It was Montgomery's friendship with Chargers' running back Melvin Gordon -- they share the same agent -- that led to the meeting and workouts with Peterson. Montgomery wasn't about to cancel work with his other trainers, so he just doubled up with Peterson.

"I would do two-a-days," Montgomery said. "Some days, I would be with Adrian and Melvin and those guys, and then I would go do something with the Footwork King in the morning or later in the evening. Or I would go work out with Justin Allen at Pro-Fit Houston or at Nine Innovations with Abdul Foster. I would rotate all that stuff. I was hitting all the spots trying to work on everything."

In Peterson, Montgomery found someone to test his mental toughness. If Montgomery thought a lift or a run was finished, Peterson always pushed for another set or two.

"We did a lot of things that would mentally wear you down but you mentally had to find a way to tell yourself to push just as hard as your first set," Montgomery said.

On most days, it was Montgomery, Peterson, Gordon and Bengals rookie Joe Mixon.

"It was fun just to have those guys around, see those younger guys," said Peterson, who is trying to resurrect his career with the New Orleans Saints. "Let 'em know, 'Hey, I'm still here.' And to be pushing each other, that's what it's all about."

Workin' 😎🙇🏾 #gopackgo #runningbacks #beexcellenttoeachother

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What Montgomery admires most about Peterson is his stamina. As a rookie, Montgomery was on the Packers' sideline when Peterson ran for 146 on 32 carries for the Minnesota Vikings in a game at Lambeau Field.

"His 30th carry, he ran just as hard as his first carry," Montgomery said. "In the fourth quarter. He was one of those guys, granted he's a freak of nature, but he's one of those guys that when the fourth quarter hits, it seems like he's running harder in the fourth quarter, and he's running faster. I was just trying to keep up with him all the time and just try and get into that kind of shape.

"That's one thing that sets him apart for sure, and that's one thing I'm trying to be."

Peterson called Montgomery "a dedicated worker."

"He was really picking my brain, asking me several questions, trying to get information, how I take care of my body, who do I use [for training], recovery," Peterson said. "But the thing that stuck out the most to me was his work ethic. He came out, he competed. He didn't back down. I didn't see him taking breaks or taking shortcuts."

Montgomery finally gets to show it all off. After limited work in the preseason, the Packers are ready to hand the ball (and throw it, too) to Montgomery in Sunday's opener against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.

"Ty Montgomery is our starting running back, so his development is over," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Ty is preparing to go. He's a big part of what we do and how we play -- his ability to be a part of the offense and particularly the things he can do out of the backfield."

ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett contributed.