Ty Montgomery makes good impression early at Saints training camp

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Dwayne Washington runs a drill while Ty Montgomery (center) observes during a New Orleans Saints training camp practice inside the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La., Wednesday, July 19, 2020. ( Photo/David Grunfeld, Pool)

Virtually every year, there are training camp phenoms for the New Orleans Saints.

Most always, they are rookies or free agents, who were not big investments of the franchise.

This year, an early star is not a rookie or free agent. Instead, it is veteran running back Ty Montgomery.

The Jackson, Miss. native is a versatile performer who was drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Green Bay Packers out of Stanford as a wide receiver.

In his second season in the league, Montgomery switched to running back.

In part of four seasons with the Packers, Montgomery played in 36 games, starting 14. He rushed 177 times for 849 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 97 passes for 827 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2018, Montgomery was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2020 draft. In six games with the Ravens, Montgomery rushed 15 times for 83 yards and caught 10 passes for 65 yards.

In 2019, Montgomery signed with the New York Jets. Playing in all 16 games and starting twice, Montgomery rushed 32 times for 103 yards and caught 13 passes for 90 yards.

Montgomery signed with the Saints on May 15 of this year.

Among the things to like about Montgomery include a healthy career 4.6 yards per carry and a catch percentage of 73.6 on targets from quarterbacks. He has playoff experience, including three playoff games with Green Bay and one with Baltimore.

Montgomery has also been a solid contributor on special teams, returning 53 kickoffs for an average of 21.8 yards.

With Green Bay, Montgomery an ankle injury which ended his rookie prematurely in 2015 and he had wrist and rib injuries, including a rib fracture in 2017.

Montgomery has drawn praise from all observers in the first two practices to draw the eyes of media, thus far.

Then, the most important eyes sang his praises after practice Wednesday.

Sean Payton said Montgomery is getting a lot of repetitions at running back but that he is a versatile player who can move outside as a receiver as well, where he started in the league.

When it comes to making the roster, Montgomery could save a roster spot, due to his ability to play running back or wide receiver and the fact that he could figure in the kick return game as well.

Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray are certain to be part of the running back mix while Dwayne Washington enters his fifth year in the league, his third season with the Saints. Is Washington good enough as a special teams contributor to hold off Montgomery? Is there a chance the Saints keep four running backs?

That would seem unlikely.

At wide receiver, Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith and Deonte Harris will be on the team. Emmanuel Butler impressed in camp a year ago and has a shot to make it this season. Austin Carr is a veteran player. Veteran Bennie Fowler has a good shot to stick, someone Drew Brees likes. Lil’Jordan Humphrey played some last year and has good size. Juwan Johnson is another youngster with good size who is a hybrid-type player.

The path to a roster spot on the outside is much more difficult for Montgomery.

The early returns and experience certainly favor Montgomery and his ability to be part of the 2020 New Orleans Saints.

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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