Labeled as “a competitive dude,” by Bears head coach John Fox, Montgomery is tabbed to replace Roberto Garza in Chicago’s starting lineup, provided that Montgomery can stay healthy.
The 10-year NFL veteran spoke about the move to Chicago, and the benefits of Gase’s scheme, following practice Thursday.
How is the familiarity with the system making things easier for you?
Montgomery: “I think it has helped a lot. I’ve changed cities, but having the same O-line coach, the same O-coordinator, the same head coach. We actually grabbed our strength coach from there, too. The coaching staff is a lot familiar. I have some new guys around me and they’ve [welcomed] me with open arms from Day 1.”
Do you sometimes feel like an extension of the coaching staff?
Montgomery: “Yeah, definitely. I’m familiar with all of the calls and the schemes. We’re adding some schemes as well. But definitely it’s helpful that I was with Denver last year.”
What do you like most about the offense?
Montgomery: “I like that it’s so balanced. He can run inside, outside, we can run power, isolation; we can throw the ball downfield, short routes. I don’t think we lean heavily in one direction. I think we can really do it all.”
Will we hear any ‘Omaha’ in Jay Cutler’s snap count like Peyton Manning does in Denver?
Montgomery: “I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
How tough is it facing Jeremiah Ratliff at nose tackle?
Montgomery: “Ratliff’s a stud. When I was with the Redskins and he was with the Cowboys, I had to play him twice a year for many years. He was always somebody you marked on your calendar and now I see him every day, although he’s been playing end the last couple days, so I got some time off from that. But Ratliff is definitely one of the top noses that I’ve ever played against and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Do you feel like a leader because of your experience level?
Montgomery: “I don’t know if anything is ever forced. I think right now Matt Slauson has been around the longest, so I think he’s taken over as the guy who everybody follows around right now, and you can’t miss that beard. That beard has a lot of things with it, too, and a lot of food in there, too, sometimes. I’m not trying to force anything. I’ll point guys in the right direction and if they have questions, I’ll answer them and just kind of go about my business.”