David Montgomery has a new perspective on the Detroit Lions that is far different from competing against them for four seasons with the Chicago Bears.
He used to circle the Lions as an opponent the Bears played twice a year in the NFC North as a team they expected to beat.
"Right now there's no way I'd circle the Lions anymore," Montgomery said. "Seeing how they work. – the way they practice. Seeing how high powered on both sides of the ball they are.
"There'll be no more circling the Lions by anybody"
Montgomery has landed in a good position at this point in his career. He was a solid, productive running back in his four years with the Bears. He averaged just over 902 yards rushing per season.
At 5-11 and 224 pounds, Montgomery has power and the ability to slip tackles in the open field. He also is able catch passes out of the backfield.
Montgomery's versatility makes him a valuable part of the Lions' plan to rebuild the running game. Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs adds another important part of the plan with his speed and receiving ability.
The backs will benefit from operating behind one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL.
"It's a level of comfortability you feel," Montgomery said. "It's almost like, you've got to make sure you're doing your job because you'd be doing a disservice to them because you know how they play and perform.
"It's definitely great to see those guys up front moving the way they do and me getting behind them trying to get used to it."
View photos from Day 3 of Detroit Lions training camp on Tuesday July 25, 2023.
Montgomery has no explanation for how he learned to slip tackles.
"I don't really know," he said. "I think I just worked out a lot. Just the will to not want to go down is probably the main thing. I don't think it was anything I ever developed. I think it was just one of those things I was always able to do."
The focus in the NFL now is on running backs and whether they are being compensated fairly for what they contribute to their teams.
"It's unfortunately how we're valued, knowing what we're capable of and what we can bring to the table for our team," Montgomery said. "We take a lot of beatings."