After losing Duce Staley, the Detroit Lions have hired Scottie Montgomery as their new assistant head coach and running backs coach.
Surprising news came last week when it was reported Duce Staley is leaving his post as assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Detroit Lions. The big picture reason for Staley to head to the Carolina Panthers is definitely understandable, but replacing him was not going to be easy.
But, in some sense, replacing Staley did happpen quickly. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Lions have hired Scottie Montgomery as their new assistant head coach and running backs coach. That’s the exact same job Staley had.
Montgomery spent the last two seasons as the running backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts, most notably in 2021 when Jonathan Taylor led the NFL in rushing.
Montgomery played four seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver/return man/gadget player, three with the Denver Broncos (2000-2002) and one with the Oakland Raiders (2003). He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2000 by the Carolina Panthers, and in 2005 he played for the Georgia Force in the Arena Football League.
Scottie Montgomery bringing a wide range of coaching experience to the Lions staff
Montgomery started in coaching in 2006 back at his alma mater, Duke, coaching wide receivers for four seasons. From there he went to the NFL, serving as Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach for three seasons (2010-2012).
Montgomery went back to Duke in 2013, first serving as associate head coach, offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for one year, then as associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two years (2014-2015).
Then Montgomery became the head coach at East Carolina, albeit with a dismal 9-26 record over three seasons there. Then he was offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Maryland in 2019 and 2020, before taking his most recent job in Indianapolis.
Pelissero nicely summed up how good a get the 44-year old Montgomery is for the Lions.
"Montgomery, who most recently was the #Colts RB coach, is a strong and respected veteran addition to Detroit’s staff who multiple teams have had interest in."
Detroit has become a place players and coaches want to be in pretty quick fashion. It appears Montgomery chose the Lions over some other options. Getting down to it, Dan Campbell may have gotten his No. 1 option to replace Staley.