With Super Bowl expectations heavy on their minds, the Chicago Bears will begin preparations in earnest for the 2019 season this week when they report to Bourbonnais for training camp.
As the team arrives in the Chicago suburb, we’re taking a look at 10 of the players that will have the biggest impact on the Bears’ fortunes in the coming year, and today we’re focusing on running back David Montgomery.
How 2018 Went for Montgomery:
We almost left this section blank just to be silly, but there was nothing silly about Montgomery's junior season with the Iowa State Cyclones. The running back racked up 1,216 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, both career highs, and added 22 catches for 157 yards for good measure.
Montgomery was a third round pick of the Bears in last spring's draft, and the team will be looking to him to pick up the workload after the trade of Jordan Howard over the offseason.
The Biggest Question He’ll Face:
Most rookies have to deal with a significant learning curve when they come into the NFL, but Montgomery may be looked at to have similar success to Howard, who was one of the league's top rushers in his first season.
Montgomery has the mobility and the quickness to rack up some serious yardage in the NFL, but he also has the size to run with a physicality that is rare for someone with his footspeed and agility. That combination of traits has got to make Matt Nagy and company very excited for the coming year, but the big question is just how long it will take to fully integrate him into the offense.
Our guess is that Montgomery will start out a bit on the slow side, conceding carries to free agent signing Mike Davis and catches to Tarik Cohen.
While Cohen is always going to be the main guy in terms of the passing attack, Montgomery should get his fair share of catches this season, and he'll likely get the bulk of the carries too, especially in the second half of the season.
We're going with a bold prediction, saying Montgomery will have 1,100 yards rushing and at least 20 catches in his first NFL season.
For more on our examination of the 10 Bears players to watch this season:
7/25 - Wide receiver Anthony Miller
7/25 - Defensive end Akiem Hicks
7/24 – Cornerback Kyle Fuller
7/24 – Tight end Trey Burton