Brett Christopherson and Ricardo Arguello are ready for another season of Clubhouse Live. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis was Montgomery’s guest.
Among the topics they touched on were team and organizational changes, the 2017 season and what's to come in 2018. 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:Dom Capers reportedly is out as the Packers' defensive coordinator, and Ted Thompson reportedly is stepping down as the Packers' general manager. As players, do you feel like a change is needed? Do you feel like there needs to be a fresh start within the team?
Montgomery: I don't know if that's a question (I can answer) just because I'm still young. I'm only in my third year. If this were my second contract, and I had more years under my belt and I had more clout, then I guess I could speak on that.
Janis: I think change can be good. If we didn't have a good season this year, maybe (this) changes things up and we'll be more successful next year. But we won't know until they make those changes and next year comes.
Q: What's our reaction to the reports? Just the nature of the business, or did it catch you by surprise?
Montgomery: It might be different for each person. But for me, I just kind of see it as the nature of the business. One thing I always keep in the back of my mind is that a coach can be gone just as quickly as a player. There's always so many moving parts. Nobody's safe. That's kind of the mindset I always keep.
Janis: At that level, it doesn't really affect us that much. We still have to come in and do what we're told and learn and do all the plays and everything like that. That level of personnel doesn't, I don't think, affect us directly as much. We'll see.
Q: Is there a feeling of responsibility among the guys in the locker room when coaching or administrative changes are made? That the reported changes are being made because you, collectively, weren't able to get the job done?
Montgomery: For me, and I guess I picked this culture up from being at Stanford, there's a quote that I remember from the offensive linemen that says: "There's no greater feeling than being able to move a man from Point A to Point B against his own will." And at Stanford, we had this reputation of running the same play over and over again. Everyone in the country knew that we were going to run "Power," and we still would run "Power" and get five to 15, sometimes 25 yards - and we'd run it four or five times in a row.
And so, I have this mentality of no matter what the coaches call, no matter what happens, that guy still has to stop me. Even if he knows the play. That's just the type of self-accountability I have. And so, I don't try to think about, "What are they calling? What are they changing? What are the adjustments?" At the end of the day, we still have to make the plays on the field.
Q: Given the expectations you had for yourself, was this the most challenging and trying year for you in your three seasons with the Packers?
Montgomery: Yeah, very. I had very, very high hopes. It just kind of seemed like from the very beginning, not having the offensive line (in tact) for the first three games of the season. And then the fourth game is when I actually get hurt, and that's when the offensive line comes back. Then I come back, and I'm kind of having a few good games here and there when I get in, but Aaron (Jones) is playing really well, so I just kind of have to wait my turn. And then I get hurt again, and it was just kind of unfortunate because I really feel like, given the opportunities, I can be good in this league and I can be good at any position they put me at.
I don't need to be designated a running back or be designated a wide receiver. No matter what number is on my jersey, no matter what position I'm designated, I can either run the ball or I can catch the ball or I can run routes. And it was just unfortunate that I just got injured and I had such high hopes. But, it happens, and I don't think it really defines me as a person or as a player. I just have to come back from it.
Q: What is the plan going ahead as far as your designated position? Given the emergence of Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones, do you expect to remain at running back moving forward?
Montgomery: I always saw myself as a hybrid, but I like the running back designation. I don't really feel it's necessary to designate me a wide receiver, especially given the fact that I'm still wearing (No.) 88 to put me in the slot to run routes or to put me out wide and run routes. I think it's just kind of pointless to try to force someone to say, "Hey, he's a wide receiver." I can still do that by being designated a running back - and I'm still wearing No. 88. It just seems kind of trivial.