Versatile running back Ty Montgomery had a few destinations he could have pursued in free agency this offseason. But he eventually decided the Jets was the place for him, even though he wouldn't be the main man in the backfield.
That title, of course, goes to Le'Veon Bell this season after he signed a long-term deal with New York. Still, Montgomery believed the Jets was the right fit, mainly because of the offense Adam Gase brings with him.
"You have to be smart," Montgomery told newyorkjets.com's Ethan Greenberg about Gase's offense. "You have to be able to catch the ball and you have to be able to run the ball. You can't have an imbalance and be at running back in this offense. It's actually pretty cool, it's challenging. I think it suits my abilities and I'm loving it."
Last season wasn't the best for Montgomery. In his fourth year with the Packers, he totaled just 188 yards on the ground and 235 in the air with one total touchdown. He was also responsible for the kick return, and one play in particular was the last straw for Green Bay.
During an overtime game against the NFC-champion Rams, Montgomery didn't give Aaron Rodgers a chance to win it as he fumbled on the return. He was, then, traded to the Ravens where he wasn't used much during six games.
So, as he looks to solidify himself in the Jets' offense, Montgomery is going to leave the past behind him and focus on letting his play talk for itself.
"I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but I'm excited for what lies ahead," Montgomery explained. "I love being on this team, I love the guys on the team. We have a lot of fun every day, talking a lot of noise. Real, real competitive atmosphere, so it's a lot of fun."
Montgomery will definitely come into training camp as Bell's backup, especially considering he got most of the first-team reps during Bell's absence during OTAs. And during those reps, he impressed his running backs coach Jim Bob Cooter, who commended the 26-year-old's veteran mentality.
"He comes in and works really hard," Cooter said. "He's a pro, he knows his way around the NFL. He's a smart guy. He knows how to learn things and take them straight to the practice field and execute them."
Executing them when he gets between the hashes for real will be key for Montgomery to shed the spotty play last season. He might not get as many reps as he had in the past, but Gase will certainly find ways to get him involved. His skillset to lineup as a receiver or pick up yards on the ground makes him expendable -- a trait teams look for in running backs.
Montgomery is hoping to make a good first impression this season for the Jets because, after being sent away from a team his played with for four years, he doesn't want to be on the move again.
He wants to stay in New York for a long time.
"I'm trying to win the day," he said. "It's something I learned in college -- win the rep, win the down, win the practice, win the day. It's one thing at a time every day, enjoy each moment. That's just what I'm expecting from myself, just to enjoy each moment as long as I'm here and hopefully I can be here for a long time."