Denver connections help Bears center Will Montgomery feel at home

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Bears center Will Montgomery lines up for a drill during training camp practice in Bourbonnais on August 2nd.

BOURBONNAIS – Perhaps he was the “Center” of the deal after all.

Forgive the pun but it’s kinda fitting. Really, it is.

When John Fox traded one NFL orange and blue for another he needed to bring along some key pieces of his coaching staff to start the rebuild of the Bears. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase joined a host of other coaches and support staff that traded their Broncos colors for a slightly different shade in Chicago.

“I’ve changed cities but having the same O-line coach and the same coordinator and the same head coach. We actually grabbed our strength coach from there too,” said one of those who came from the Broncos to the Bears.

But he’s not donning some new athletic gear on the practice fields in Bourbonnais. He’s got a helmet and pads. In face on offense Will Montgomery will be at the center of it all since that’s his position.

He was the last to come over from Denver, signing with the Bears in March. Perhaps it’s he who makes the transition complete.

“I guess it was a package deal,” joked Montgomery of joining Fox and the others in Chicago as the likely starting center for 2015. “They weren’t going to accept the job unless I came too.”

Is that true? No offense, Will, but probably not. But there’s no denying that his connection to the staff not only helps his transition but puts him in a position to help others not familiar with the staff to get comfortable.

“I’m familiar with all the calls and the schemes. We’re adding some schemes as well. But definitely helpful that I was with Denver last year,” said Montgomery.

It was only one year as Montgomery started eight games including the Divisional Playoff against the Colts after coming to the Broncos from Washington. Montgomery also started four games for Fox in his rookie year with the Panthers in 2006.

Yet that’s 13 more starts than the rest of the offensive line has had with a Fox-coached team so naturally Montgomery becomes someone for the line to seek advice.

“I’m not trying to force anything,” said Montgomery. “I’ll point guys in the right direction. If they have questions I’ll answer them and just go about my business.”

Fitting in is something he’ll want to do too. Four of the five offensive line starters were on the team last year making Montgomery a bit of an outsider despite his inside knowledge of the offense.

“The coaching staff is a lot familiar but I’ve got some new guys around me but they’ve welcomed me with open arms since day one,” said Montgomery.

He also welcomes the return of Gase’s offense-one that ranked 2nd in scoring (30.1 points per game) and 4th in total yardage (402 per game) in 2014.

“I like that it’s so balanced. We can run inside, outside. We can run power, iso. We can throw the ball downfield, short routes,” said Montgomery when asked what he likes the most about it. “I don’t think we lean heavily in one direction but I think we can really do it all.”

Now that they-being the coaching staff and Montgomery-are all together again.

 

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