Those lessons in speed and running properly that David Montgomery took in the offseason seemed pointless considering he gained yardage so effectively in the second half of last season for the Bears.
Montgomery made tacklers miss or broke tackles as he finished tied for fifth in the league in rushing with 1,070 yards.
As it turns out, maybe his foresight seems as good as his ability to evade tacklers.
With Tarik Cohen on what looks like a slow recovery path following last year's torn ACL, the Bears can use help from any back who can catch passes. Speed would be a plus, and last year Montgomery also showed he can be a receiver with 54 receptions.
"I think I proved that I can catch the ball," Montgomery said. "But I think I have so much more that I can improve on.
"But it's like me beating a dead horse, coming up here telling you what I can do. I'm just going to go out there and show it."
This is typical Montgomery. He lives with a chip on his shoulder.
Montgomery is always proving himself. After he failed to hit 900 yards rushing in his first season, Montgomery might have had more doubters to silence than now.
"I think his expectations and standards his first year were really high," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "When he didn't hit those, he needed to learn to reset his next year. But what he's done, and I think you all would agree here, is he's improved every year. He's gotten better.
"We know as a leader, when he's in the huddle, how coachable he is. So another guy that's so motivated to go out there and does not care. I think this is what's special about him. He doesn't worry about things that are out of his control. When you give him the football or tell him to run a route, he wants to be perfect with that. I think you're going to probably see a little bit of that this year with him. Now that we're kind of finding our mode with the O-line, this scheme and what we want to do, he's probably going to feel and look a little more comfortable out there."
Now back to that chip.
Is Montgomery determined to succeed because he's been rated low by the armchair analysts, those with various analytical and fantasy websites? A video on the web during Bears offseason work did catch him complaining to Nagy how he'd been underrated by someone.
"Nah," Montgomery said.
Yet, even here he found a way to make it himself against the world, or the world against the Bears.
"Because I'm not doing it for anybody else but me and my team," Montgomery said. "As long as my team sees that, OK, 'Dave, you are doing this well,' that's all I'm targeting.
"As far as anybody else, they don't know how I go to work and how I handle adversity and they don't know the kind of character that I carry. It goes back to people labeling me and me caring less about what anybody has to say about me. Because I do not care."
So Montgomery doesn't care what anyone says.
That said, then what's the focus of his work at training camp when the Bears are not in pads and he can't hit?
"The other things they don't label me as, like being able to catch the ball, being able to run routes, being able to run fast," Montgomery said. "So I just try to emphasize and focus on that whenever I get the opportunity to."
Didn't he just say he doesn't care what "they" say?
Uh, sometimes that chip on the shoulder is there to stay. In this case that seems to be a good thing. If you don't think so, Montgomery will prove it to you.