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Montgomery thinks he & Gibbs can be an even more productive duo in 2024

David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs formed one of the best running back duos in the NFL last season for the Detroit Lions.

In their first season in Detroit, the duo became the first set of teammates in NFL history to produce at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 rushing touchdowns for a team in the same season. They became only the fourth set of running backs in NFL history to each rush for at least 10 touchdowns for a team in the same season, along with the 2008 Panthers, 1975 Colts and 1960 Packers.

And now with a season in this offense under their belt and with Gibbs heading into a second season where most players see a big increase in development and production, Montgomery thinks they can be an even more productive duo in 2024.

"We have high expectations for ourselves," Montgomery said Tuesday after the first mandatory minicamp practice of the week. "Both of us together didn't think that was good enough (last year). We want to be better this year and we will. There's definitely a ton of ways to get better and we will."

Montgomery said the thing that makes them so special as a duo is simply how different they are as players.

"We are very good in our own way," he said. "It's hard for teams to prepare for us. Us being so different allows the things that Jah (Jahmyr) does well that I have to do he coaches me on and vice versa. Just being able to kind of be each other's counterpart and being able to strike off each other is really, really big. It's hard to kind of find that in the NFL, too."

Both players are extremely dangerous in their own right but do it a little different. Montgomery is the crafty veteran who has been very consistent over his first five seasons in the league. He rushed 219 times for 1,015 yards (4.6 avg.) and 13 touchdowns last year.

Montgomery's 4,624 yards over the last five seasons rank eighth in the NFL over that span. His 233 forced missed tackles over that stretch are the fourth most behind only Josh Jacobs (295), Derrick Henry (291) and Nick Chubb (271). He is also one of four NFL players to rush for at least five touchdowns in each of the last five seasons.

Gibbs is the explosive youngster with 4.3 speed and sneaky toughness. He also has big-time playmaking ability as a receiver, catching 52 passes for 316 yards as a rookie. That number is expected to significantly increase this season.

View photos from Day 1 of Detroit Lions minicamp on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 in Allen Park, Mich.

Montgomery and Gibbs complement each other perfectly in this offense which forces defenses to plan for two very different runners. Having two backs that can carry the load and be playmakers also keeps both guys fresher throughout the course of the season.

Heading into a second season in the same system in Detroit under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and running behind arguably the top offensive line in football has Montgomery excited about the Lions' rushing offense.

"The expectations are far higher," he said. "You've been in a system for a year ... now there's no messing up. The things that we did good and okay last year we have to take it up a notch and make it elite.

"We believe in each other and we know we can do that. But in order for that to happen we have to push each other harder than we did last year and we will do that."

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