Ty Montgomery has been one of the under-the-radar stars of Patriots training camp this summer, slowly but surely cementing himself as part of the running back rotation. During Tuesday's joint practice against the Panthers, Montgomery was one of the most active members of the offense, chipping in with three catches on the final two-minute, 11-on-11 period, including the opening play of the drive that saw Mac Jones find Montgomery streaking up the sideline from out of the backfield for a 20-yard throw-and-catch.
That kind of playmaking ability from the backfield could be the element the Patriots passing game needs most right now. With experience in a variety of offenses, including stops at the Packers, Jets and Saints, while playing both running back and receiver along with returner, Montgomery looks like the early favorite to take over James White's passing-down role, but that might just be the jumping off point with the veteran. His diverse skillset could open up even more options for the coaching staff to experiment with.
Already, Montgomery has looked comfortable getting the edge on the defense as a ball carrier while running behind the zone blocking scheme, a system he's familiar with after his earlier years.
"Ty's been a wonderful kid to have around. He's a very smart, multi-skilled, multi-talented player," said head coach Bill Belichick prior to practice. "Looking forward to working with him throughout the course of the year on the team in multiple roles. I think there's a lot of different things he can do, we'll have to figure out how to combine him with other players on the field. It's nice to be able to work with him."
The softspoken Montgomery downplayed his latest strong performance and any direct ties to the role that White vacated. "My number got called, so I went in," said Montgomery of the closing set of plays. "We did some things well, we got some things we've got to work on."
With another impressive showing under his belt, it should be little surprise that a player who can do so much could end up being a key part of the 2022 attack. For now, with just one joint practice down, it appears the Patriots are just scratching the surface with Ty Montgomery.
"I think everything is coming together," said Montgomery. "Everything is a process, you've just got to trust in it and keep building."