If Nagy has his way, Montgomery will rank as high as he wants in stats even if it's always been the reputation of the Bears coach to dislike running the ball.
Nagy went on the Under Center Podcast with NBC Sports Chicago's Kenneth Davis while at the American Century Classic golf tournament over the weekend, and revealed he has a plan to get Montgomery more yardage.
It starts with getting Montgomery more carries, and this begins with getting leads in games.
The goal is 20 rushes a game for Montgomery.
"Depending on what the game is, what's happened the last couple years and why some of David's carries—which aren't low—haven't been quite as high is a lot of guys get it in to four-minute mode in the fourth quarter," Nagy said. "That's where they can get those extra for or five carries, which can bump them into the top five, you know, with 20 rushes a game. That's our goal."
Montgomery hasn't been neglected. He averaged 16.5 rushes per game last year and 15.1 as a rookie.
"We want to have the lead so that we can give him the ball, so he has touches," Nagy said. "Because you know from just seeing him run the football, that guy in four-minute mode it takes more than one guy to bring him down. He's one of my favorite players on the team.
"I love his work ethic. He cares so much. He's, I guarantee you every single day, he's out here working. He wants to have a great year. He's motivated."
Montgomery didn't get much chance to protect leads in this fashion last year, and the Bears weren't always successful when they did have the chance. The
The Bears had six leads heading into the final minutes of the fourth quarter last year and failed to protect it once, against Detroit. They had big leads against Houston and Jacksonville so they didn't really have to worry. Earlier, they did poor jobs of running to kill time and protect leads with their offense against the Giants, Buccaneers and Panthers. They still hung on to take wins thanks to defensive stands. They had to come from behind to win two of their first three and in the win over the Giants they had the ball but failed to kill the clock and the Giants drove to the brink of winning it before being turned away.
Nagy once again insisted he doesn't hate running the ball.
"Not at all," he said. "I understand what city I'm in and where we're at with Chicago and defense and running the ball. You have to be able to run the football in this league to be successful and set up the pass and that's our goal is to get better in every area."
Nagy also reiterated Eddie Goldman will be at training camp. He said this at the end of mandatory minicamp after Goldman had blown it off despite the risk of fines.
The starting Bears nose tackle opted out last year and wasn't at any offseason on-field work. The Bears have acquired Mike Pennel and drafted Khyiris Tonga just in case he isn't.
"I think every player has their own opinion as to why they do things and, of course, missing the mandatory minicamp is a big deal," Nagy said. "But I have a lot of respect for Eddie Goldman. I think he's a hell of a player. He's a really special person. I really don't have concerns of him not showing up to minicamp. I really believe that he'll be there (at training camp)."
And if not?
"If he's not we gotta continue to move forward and we'll have a plan in place to make sure that we help get him here," Nagy said, without elaborating.