Montgomery: Playoffs 'opportunity to do something great'
Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show.
Among the topics he touched on were Mike McCarthy, the 2016 Packers and the intensity of playoff football. The show can be seen live at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill in downtown Appleton or at clubhouselive.com.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
Q: Sunday's NFC divisional playoff victory over the Cowboys marked the 10th postseason win for Mike McCarthy, the most for a Packers coach in team history. He's also just one of four coaches in league history to have led a team to the playoffs in at least eight straight seasons. Why do his teams continue to be successful? What makes him such a good coach?
Montgomery: One thing about this league, no matter who you are, whether you're a player or a coach when you're not winning, there's always going to be a lot of criticism. People are going to have issues and are going to want you cut or want you fired. But one thing about Coach McCarthy, he's a great motivator, and he knows a heck of a lot about football. He has been doing it for a very long time. And on top of that, he's just very personable. He's got a great football personality. I just think he's doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing right now.
Q: McCarthy has raved about the makeup and character of your team, even when it was mired in that four-game losing streak. What makes it such a special group, one that's on the cusp of a Super Bowl appearance?
Montgomery: I want to say since OTAs and minicamp, we've been growing together. Not everybody is still with us. But for the most part, the guys that are here are the majority of those same guys. We've picked up some guys along the way, but all the way through training camp we've grown. We've gone through ups and downs together. And to be where we are right now, after everything that we've gone through, it has only made us closer, and it has only made us stronger. And I think that has really played to our favor. Going on that four losses in a row, I think if anything, that really made us stronger. And from the moment that Aaron (Rodgers) said we could run the table, we've just been tight. Very, very tight.
Q: Sunday's matchup was a classic that came down to the final play - a 51-yard game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby. What's it like to play in a game like that? Is it fun? Is it stressful? Are there a lot of anxious moments? All of the above?
Montgomery: It can be stressful if you allow it to be stressful. But honestly, it's fun. It's an opportunity to do something great. That's the reason why a lot of us play this game - to be great at it, to be the best at it. Take advantage of just tremendous opportunities. And having little time on the clock and being in that situation is an opportunity to do something great. And it's something that excites us, it's something that we strive for.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC