The Lions were fortunate to get Scottie Montgomery as Duce Staley’s replacement, and he sees Detroit as a destination spot for reasons beyond football.
When assistant head coach/running backs Duce Staley left for the Carolina Panthers to be closer to his ailing mother, the Detroit Lions were fortunate to get former Indianapolis Colts running backs coach Scottie Montgomery to replace him. He has a broad coaching resume, as a wide receivers coach and running backs coach in the NFL as well as a head coach and offensive coordinator at the college level.
Head coach Dan Campbell has revealed he had a great interview with Montgomery last offsseason for the offensive coordinator post that ultimately went to Ben Johnson. So when Staley’s situation surfaced, Montgomery was easily one of the first calls Campbell made in the search for a replacement.
Coaches and players openly wanting to come to or stay in Detroit with the Lions is a new thing. Montgomery certainly had other job opportunities besides the Lions, even interviewing for an offensive coordinator job after he was hired. But it seems he chose Detroit for reasons beyond a football philosophy fit.
Scottie Montgomery sees Detroit as a destination spot for himself
This week at the NFL Combine, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, Montgomery spoke about his regard for Detroit dating back to his youth.
"I will say this, growing up in the South, a lot of people say they want to go to New York, right?” “‘I want to go to New York. I want to go to L.A.’ But growing up in the South, especially when you grew up in the working South as an African American, you made it (when) you made it to Detroit. Because all the images we had from Detroit were from families — and not making this about minority or not a minority..So, we’re blessed. My wife’s family is from Detroit. So, we’re blessed to come to a place we spent a lot of time anyway, but also the history of when I was a kid, thinking, ‘Man, if I could just finally get to Detroit, it’s going to all change"
Faced with replacing Staley due to something other than a promotion was not ideal for the Lions. But they landed Montgomery, and he’s happy to be in Detroit and to be a new key part of what the team is building.