Ty Montgomery is ready to show that he doesn't need the ball in his hands to be valuable on special teams. The quickest and best way for rookies in the NFL to get experience at the next level is by playing special teams and multiple roles, and that's the mindset the rookie from Stanford has going into his first offseason with the Packers.
"If I'm covering punts, I'll cover kick-offs, I'll play gunner, it really doesn't matter." Montgomery said via Packers.com. "I'll even not be the return man. Any type of special teams is the fastest way to get onto the field.
"I feel I can just fit in wherever they put me, I feel like I am a very multiple guy."
Montgomery was selected with the 94th overall pick in last weekend's NFL Draft by the Packers, and returned a career-high 36 kickoffs for 1,091 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinal in 2013. One of Montgomery's electric returns ended up going for 100 yards against Utah. Although he only returned 13 punts in 2014, Montgomery still returned two of them for scores.
His philosophy heading into the summer is all about doing everything full-speed, regardless if some things don't turn out the right way.
"Whatever they ask you to do, even if you make a mistake, make the mistake at full-speed. At this point, it's all about effort, and if guys give 100 percent effort and do things right, then that's one way to stand out."
Green Bay's special teams unit allowed seven kicks to be blocked last season, which was worst in the league. All of those horrid numbers resulted in special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum getting canned.
The Packers also decided not to tender running back and 2014 returner DuJuan Harris this spring, ending his time in Green Bay. In 22 returns last season, Harris only averaged 20.7 yards per return, which ranked 20th among the 21 qualified players in the league. His longest return also only went for just 41 yards, which tied him for last in the league with Danieal Manning and Jeremy Ross.
"A good return man has speed, quickness, and a will to break tackles and find the end zone." Montgomery explained. "There's no second down on special teams, so you can't be complacent, and as a return man you have to be willing to fight."
Montgomery certainly has the chance to seize the job for the next several years as he sits behind starters Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, along with last year's second-round pick Davante Adams.
"I never thought I'd be here in Green Bay, but I've loved it so far."
Going from California to Green Bay isn't all that much different, either, he says.
"It's really not that different, football is football." Montgomery said. "The way we run things at Stanford is pretty similar to this with the periods. The offense is pretty similar, so it's just about getting into football shape.
"One thing we talked about at Stanford a lot is handling adversity and being able to adjust. It's part of being a good athlete."
With Jared Abbrederis missing his entire rookie campaign because of an ACL injury, Montgomery will certainly face competition for both starting return jobs. The former Wisconsin product showed excellent skills for the job before the injury took place last year in training camp. Cornerback Micah Hyde and Cobb are certainly in the mix as well, especially considering head coach Mike McCarthy has let it be known that the team will put the best guy out there, no matter the workload they already have.