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New Orleans Saints running back Ty Montgomery driven by confidence, competition

'You get your one rep at it, and you have got to win'

Check out photos from Sunday, Aug. 23 at Saints Training Camp as New Orleans continues their preparations for the 2020 NFL season.
Check out photos from Sunday, Aug. 23 at Saints Training Camp as New Orleans continues their preparations for the 2020 NFL season.

It didn't concern Ty Montgomery one bit as a free agent that he was joining a New Orleans Saints team that already had two established running backs in Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

"That's just who I am," he said. "I am confident in myself, no matter where I go.

"I do not mean to be arrogant by it. It does not matter who I am playing for, it does not matter where I'm at. I am confident in my abilities. And at the end of the day, it's up to the people making the decisions. Right now, right here in this moment, just keep grinding. We'll see what's in store for me tomorrow, but I'm just confident in my abilities regardless."

That said, it should surprise no one that Montgomery has welcomed the defensive competition he has gone against at practice. And he has shown why he has been a versatile producer (1,035 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 224 carries, 982 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 120 catches, and 1,158 yards on 53 kickoff returns) in five NFL seasons.

On consecutive touches during one practice, Montgomery caught a swing pass and blazed down the left sideline, then reversed field on a running play and located the same opening that still was smoldering from his previous visit.

Every practice, Montgomery has done something against the defense to show he can be impactful.

"I like it like that," he said. "Very competitive atmosphere, guys are just trying to, like I said, they're trying to win one-on-one battles, just competing every single day. Because that is what it comes down to on Sundays, where there are man covers, zone covers. You have got to beat the guy. So, boys out here are really, really competing even on special teams. You get your one rep at it, and you have got to win. So, very competitive atmosphere."

Very competitive, and Montgomery has made himself noticeable.

"He's gotten a lot of the work and his reps at the running back position," Coach Sean Payton said. "We can move him outside (to receiver) and he's one of those players that does have versatility.

"I think he's a guy that understands the passing game well, and he's also got a pretty good burst relative to handling the football in the running game. There are some things that – from a flexibility standpoint – he's a unique player, and we'll try to take advantage of those things."

Montgomery virtually salivated at the opportunity to be added to New Orleans' offensive mix. Now that he has been, he said it's exactly what he expected the experience to be.

"I don't know how to put it," he said. "It's a fun offense. We're doing everything, doesn't matter who you are. I like the way it seems, you know, Coach Payton, (offensive coordinator) Coach Pete (Carmichael) and the guys, they are just trying to put guys in positions to win one-on-one battles. And obviously we've got great quarterbacks throwing the ball. So, the offense is a lot of fun, it's going well."

Montgomery has the ability to play receiver (he wears No. 88), but running back seems to be the place for him.

"Spending a lot of time with the running backs right now, but I'm ready to do whatever," he said. "Like we've seen in the past, with AK (Kamara), Mark (Ingram), Latavius, anybody really, backtracks to even be crucial in the passing game. So, it really doesn't matter where they put me. I'm just going to do what's asked of me, whether it's winning on a route or winning on a run."

Just win each individual play, and the rest will sort out.

"It's a lot of fun," Montgomery said. "It's the most brilliant I've ever had, in an offense. They're just asking you to win. I know I'm using that word a lot. That's a very important word around here, winning. It's what we care about, it's what we're trying to do, so.

"Still very excited, very happy to be here. I am grateful to be here. The atmosphere is very special. I mean, every day I come out here to get on the stretch lines, I'm just filled with gratitude for just being a part of the Black and Gold and being a New Orleans Saint, having guys around me. I'm just thankful to be here. I'm right where I'm supposed to be I guess."

MONDAY NOTES: Quarterback Drew Brees connected on four deep passes in practice – one each to Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and two to Tre-Quan Smith – to provide a glimpse of his arm strength…Rookie Cesar Ruiz took first-team snaps at center for the second consecutive day…Notable absences from practice were Kamara, safety Malcolm Jenkins and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Kamara still was battling a stomach bug, while Jenkins and Ramczyk likely were enjoying rest days…Payton said the Saints will practice twice in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the coming days – Friday, and again next week. Those practices could take on the tone of scrimmages.

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