Ty Montgomery: Packers are 'a bunch of competitors, a bunch of fighters'
Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers cornerback Josh Hawkins was Montgomery’s guest.
Among the topics they touched on were injuries, dealing with misfortune, defensive play and facing the winless Cleveland Browns. 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: You were placed on injured reserve last week and will be out for the season. How did that go down, and how difficult was that decision for you to accept?
Montgomery: It was very difficult. Obviously, I expected a ton this season from myself. I thought it was going to be the season I wanted it to be after the way the season started. The first couple games, I think I was averaging like over 100 all-purpose yards, making a lot of plays. I'm like, 'This is going to go great.' And then, I actually injured my wrist against Cincinnati and it just never got better. It actually got way worse, and I was basically told we need to do something about this now. So between breaking ribs and then finding out about my wrist, it's just not right now. I've been trying to take on God's perspective and not my perspective. And I think something He's done is allowed me to show glimpses of what I can do and what I'm capable of. And just now is not the time for whatever reason. When the time comes, I'll get my opportunity again - and I'll make the most of it.
Q: Physically speaking, can you describe how difficult it was to try to play with broken ribs after the injury occurred against the Bears in Week 4? And what happened with your ribs that forced you out against the Bears the second time you played them - in Week 10?
Montgomery: That absolutely sucked. It wasn't fun. I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to open up that rabbit hole too much. But I'll just say there were multiple displaced ribs and multiple cracked ribs ... from both (games against the Bears).
Q: The Packers have dealt with so much adversity this season with all of the injuries, yet they're still in the NFC playoff chase. What have you learned about your team this season?
Montgomery: This team is full of a bunch of competitors, a bunch of fighters. Guys that'll grind it out and do what needs to be done. And a team that's not going to feel bad for itself, feel sorry for itself given the fact of everything that has been going on. The games that we've lost that we shouldn't have lost. It's just a very strong, tight-knit, resilient football team. The season's not over until the season's over.
Q: It was a bend-but-don't-break defensive effort in Sunday's victory over Tampa Bay. You surrendered 395 yards but tallied seven sacks, a turnover and 13 quarterback hits. Where have you seen the biggest area of growth in the defense this season?
Hawkins: Not even just as a defense, but I feel like we're just growing as a family, honestly. Playing without (Aaron Rodgers), we're just all depending on each other instead of just one person. Like, '12, he's going to get it done.' Without 12, we all have to get it done right now. No matter what, everyone has to come together, and we all have to depend on each other. No matter what, we all have to get it done. We all have a job, and we all have to get it done. On special teams, defense and offense.
Q: Up next for the Packers is a matchup against the 0-12 Browns. How do you avoid that from becoming the proverbial trap game given their record?
Hawkins: We're just going to go into the game like we always go into every game, and we're going in fast and physical. We don't take anyone lightly. We look at the Cleveland Browns like another NFL team. They have great athletes, great coaches and we're going in with the same mindset as always. And we're going to try to get that win.