There’s no doubt David Montgomery is a talent upgrade over Jamaal Williams for the Detroit Lions, but he appears to be an instant culture fit too.
The Detroit Lions made a quick and surprising pivot to sign David Montgomery when talks to re-sign Jamaal Williams went nowhere. It’s an undeniable talent upgrade. But the question would be how, or even if, Montgomery could replace what Williams meant to the Lions’ culture over the last couple seasons.
People who covered Montgomery has a Chicago Bear lauded his intangibles. So it was fair to assume he’d fit right in with the Lions. And Williams may have shown his true colors when he called the Lions offer to him disrespectful, when it was likely the same deal Montgomery took.
The Lions started voluntary offseason workouts this week. Montgomery’ new teammates and coaches are familiar with him from his time in Chicago, but now they’ll get to know him better.
David Montgomery may seamlessly replace Jamaal Williams in all facets
Via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, despite not having met Montgomery a couple days into this week’s work (that has surely changed since), Lions left tackle Taylor Decker talked pretty glowingly about the Lions’ new lead running back.
"Obviously, I know of him from his time in Chicago,” Decker said. “I mean, the guy is a playmaker. Durable, a lot of carries, strong. I’ve seen our guys try to tackle him, and it’s gonna be fun to see that kind of 1-2 punch (with D’Andre Swift).I haven’t even met yet but I’ve heard that he’s kind of the guy that — he’s got like a productive paranoia about him. That’s kind of what I’ve heard. He’s always trying to be responsible with discipline, professional, always trying to find a way to get better. That’s what I’ve heard from a coach that I know that was in Chicago. Does it surprise me that we signed a guy like that? No. It sounds like personality-wise and mindset, he is the cookie cutter for what we want here.”"
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has an inside source on Montgomery’s old team–his brother, Bears’ wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown.
"I had already talked to David before and my brother told me, he’s been doing crazy stuff in practice, the jukes he does, like, you just can’t tackle him,” St. Brown said. “So I already knew he was that guy, and then we played him and watched his tape and you see David out there. He’s a baller. I’m excited to see what he does.”"
“Productive paranoia”. “The cookie cutter for what we want here”. “A baller”.
As long as Montgomery is healthy, the Lions are not going to miss Williams on the field. With early sentiment from new teammates as further proof, Montgomery might just fully replace Williams as an all-around tone-setter and leader too.