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Patriots' Ty Montgomery keeps offensive role a mystery

Andrew Callahan, Boston Herald on

Published in Football

You can say this much for Ty Montgomery.

After two short months in New England, he’s already with the program.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, the Patriots’ veteran running back/wide receiver declined to reveal which position he’ll be playing this season.

“I consider myself an employee of the New England Patriots,” said Montgomery, who signed as a free agent last March. “And whatever they ask me is what I’m going to do.”

On Tuesday, Patriots running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri said Montgomery has been working with his group this offseason. In the backfield, it’s likely he’ll compete for snaps on passing downs, along with incumbent third-down back James White and second-year back Rhamondre Stevenson. Montgomery should enter training camp squarely on the bubble, after signing a 2-year, $3.6 million deal with only $300,000 guaranteed.

Last year, Montgomery failed to make a significant impact for the weapons-starved Saints. Montgomery hasn’t topped 200 scrimmage yards in a season since 2018, despite playing regular-season game for the Jets in 2019 and 14 last year in New Orleans.

 

In 2021, however, Montgomery did play almost half of the Saints’ special teams snaps, and he’s taken 40 percent or more of those snaps for his team each of the past three years. Montgomery’s special teams involvement has had an inverse relationship with his offensive production, indicating teams have found a way to increasingly involve Montgomery in the kicking game while his athleticism declines. In New England, Montgomery could help replace core special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King, who left in free agency, or try his hand at returning.

After the Packers drafted him in the third round of the 2015 draft, Montgomery took kickoffs back over four-plus seasons in Green Bay and averaged more than 20 yards per return, but never scored a touchdown. Next he made 18 returns for the Jets in 2019. Since then, Montgomery has fielded just four kicks, and covered dozens more.

“Extremely smart football player,” Sunseri said Tuesday. “He does whatever you ask him, he takes in all kinds of different information. And he’s been a pleasure to work with so far. He works extremely hard every single day. And he is a very smart guy. So it’s fun to work with the guy.”

Montgomery revealed Thursday that his free-agent decision wasn't a difficult one. He said playing for the Patriots appealed to him after hearing ex-teammates rave about their experience in New England, including former Saints and Pats wide receiver Chris Hogan, with whom he spoke soon shortly before signing.

"When the New England Patriots called, I couldn't say no," Montgomery said. "I wanted to be here."

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