If the Bears’ secret wasn’t spoiled in the preseason opener, Eddie Jackson just let the cat, err dog, out of the bag.
“Uh, man. David’s a dog. That’s just plan-right and just-flat out,” Chicago’s first-team All Pro said of the organization’s first player selected in April’s draft, RB David Montgomery. “He’s a dog. He’s a gamer. Just to see how he come out here and compete against us, our defense, it just shows that he’s something special. He’s one of those X-factors that we have on offense right now. Him and Tarik [Cohen], and Mike [Davis], to see what that backfield can do, it’s kind of crazy. We’re really expecting a lot from him as a young guy.”
Except unlike Cohen, Jackson’s fellow first-team All Pro who ascended in Year 2 as one of the game’s top receiving backs in addition to punt returners, and Davis, a journeyman with nearly 300 NFL touches, Montgomery has only flashed for the whole world to see a handful — six to be exact — of times since Chicago sent third-, fourth- and sixth-rounders to New England to move up 14 spots in Round 3 and select its new prized feature back with the 74th overall pick.
Whether Montgomery’s lack of usage is merely gamemanship on the part of Matt Nagy, the coach’s acknowledgment that those six touches parlayed by Montgomery in his preseason debut into 46 yards and a house call on the heels of an already-strong camp, or most likely a bit of both, it’s clear the Bears are ready for the big reveal.
“Yeah, it was good,” Nagy quipped earlier this month regarding Montgomery’s nifty touchdown, when the elusive back delivered a nasty jump cut and flashed the vision and instincts we saw regularly on his Iowa State film but also the juice to get the corner turned that many were curious to see translate. “It was OK. You guys were blowing it up like it was some great run. It was just average. It was good. Jeez.”
If we were blowing it up, like Nagy in the immediate aftermath of the game before downplaying his own gushing at the next practice, what does it say that one of the stars on the NFL’s best ‘D,’ charged with practicing against Montgomery routinely this summer, is doing the same?
Storybook ending? There isn’t much to say about the Bears’ PK derby that hasn’t been said at this point … or so we thought. When asked about what he’s learned about the nuances of kicking during the Bears’ exhaustive offseason search to replace Cody Parkey, Nagy offered a new take on the situation.
“It’s a unique situation that we’re all in. And I think I’m learning how to handle these situations too,” he said. “This is my first time going through it. Am I going to be right with everything I do and say? No. But hopefully there’s a good story behind all this and for all of us. How cool would it be for it to work out and you go through some ups and downs to find that guy?
Right now that guy looks like Eddy Pineiro, who might look like other kickers but doesn’t necessarily act or get the same reactions from his teammates as others do.
“I’ve been around some kickers that are a little bit unique,” Nagy said after a laugh. “I’ve been around kickers that are pretty cool. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t make you a good or bad kicker, but I’d say that he falls on the cool side.”
Clemmings to IR: Shortly after concluding their final preseason practice Tuesday, the Bears sent OT T.J. Clemmings to season-ending injured reserve with a quad injury he sustained in Indianapolis. Clemmings was probably a longshot to earn a roster spot, but his injury could make undrafted rookie Alex Bars a shoo-in to make the club.