As it turns out, the only thing Ty Montgomery didn’t change this offseason was his uniform number.
The Packers wide receiver-turned-running back is sticking with the position he was forced into out of necessity last year, and he’s sticking with his familiar number 88 jersey.
But he’s now a full-time running back, and he’s had to adjust many things because of it, including his own expectations.
“I definitely didn’t think I’d be, as of right now, the starter for an NFL team at the running back position,” Montgomery said, via Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin. “Actually, I was thinking about that today. I was just like, ‘Man, I’m going into my third year, but it feels like I’m going into my second year.’ It feels like I’m coming off a rookie year.
“I like speaking things into existence and being positive, but I don’t want to be — I don’t know if arrogant is the right word — but I don’t want to overthink it. I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m ready to get this thing rolling this year.”
The Packers would be happy with him continuing his performance from last year, when he turned 77 carries into 457 yards (5.9 yards per). And he said he feels more natural now in the 220-pound range, after having to work to stay under that number in the past (Eddie Lacy: “You rang?”).
But the starting job is all his now, with the official declaration coming after Lacy left town and they cut veterans James Starks and Christine Michael, leaving him atop a depth chart which includes three draft picks and two undrafted rookies.
He was happy to learn he’d get to keep his number, since the league allows players to keep their original number (as long as they aren’t switching between ineligible and eligible positions).
“It was, ‘I want to keep it, is there any way I can keep it?’ Because I’ve seen guys out of position based on their number before,” Montgomery said. “So I just started doing the research myself. It’s who I am. It’s me. It’s been my number, and if I don’t have to change it, why should I?”
As long as he continues to perform the way he did last season, they should be fine with that.