Yesterday, we introduced this series, reminding readers of the heroes who helped a desperate town through a moment of adversity. Now, facing the reality of only one winning season in the last nine, Chicago also needs heroes. As a reminder, the contributors got to pick their own criteria for ranking, and it could be based on stats, eye test, instinct, or even just hope.
#7 David Montgomery (16 points)
Sam H: Look, I know where running backs are prioritized in the modern game and I get it. But David Montgomery’s heart, work ethic and production make him just a little bit different than other running backs. I’m not saying break the bank for him, but a second contract wouldn’t be totally bad money. Even if you let him walk, there’s probably a comp pick coming back on him and that’s a building block too.
Jack Salo: This league regurgitates more than it digests, so the Chicago Bears need to be innovative on offense to survive. It helps to have a bonafide starting running back on the roster, and it can’t be understated how much he can do to take the pressure off Justin Fields. If Montgomery can continue his path of pounding the rock and getting open late in his quarterback’s progression, the Bears can climb into respectability on offense. It will take a man-handling offensive line, though.
Bill Z: Montgomery has really turned into a force as a running back, but is he a true game changer? Montgomery is one of the most talented players on the roster and absolutely needs to be considered a building block, but it’s at the most replaceable position in the sport and I really wouldn’t be behind a lucrative extension to a running back.
Josh: Yes, running backs are a fungible position, and running backs who make a difference—really make a difference—are few and far between. So what? He’s a halfback who can do everything, and even if he’s not elite, he’s still absolutely reliable. The R word is underrated in football.
ECD: Knock off all this absurd talk about trading Monty away in the offseason. I really don’t feel the need to remind people just how bad the assumption was that Jeremy Langford would be Matt Forte 2.0, but I will anyway. Monty is a player that’s not just a top RB in the league, he’s the Bears’ best player on offense. A true weapon in the backfield to utilize with Justin Fields for the big picture.