Montgomery excited he's back at DE

Montgomery excited he's back at DE
September 26, 2013, 7:30 am
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(USA Today Images)

Sam Montgomery’s days at outside linebacker are over. Now he gets to put a hand in the dirt again.

The Texans’ third-round pick was drafted out of LSU to be an outside linebacker but the team decided to switch Montgomery to defensive end in their 3-4 defense. He previously played as an end in LSU’s 4-3.

“I was very excited,” Montgomery said. “That’s just what I’ve been accustomed to my whole life.”

Montgomery had been working as an outside ‘backer but said the team began to let him play as a defensive end with the scout team at the beginning of the regular season. Montgomery said he was willing to do whatever they asked of him but feels the defensive end position suits him better.

"I think it gives me a better opportunity to display my talent,” he said.

Montgomery arrived for rookie camp this spring and immediately had back issues, which forced him to have a slow start. Then, the rookie showed up to training camp out of shape and was placed on the Non-football Injury list. He made the 53-man roster but has been inactive for the first three weeks of the season.

Even though they were playing different positions, Montgomery often picked the brain of veteran defensive end Antonio Smith on the practice fields.

“He was starting to get a little bigger,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “It was hard for him to keep the weight off so we decided to move in the other direction. We’re letting him put a little weight on. He’s working with (defensive line coach) Bill (Kollar) and he’s doing a really good job. Hopefully, before too long, he’ll be in position to help us out.”

Even with Montgomery’s getting a little bigger, he’s still undersized for a defensive end in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme. Montgomery is 6-3 and came to the Texans weighing 260 pounds. He said he weighs around 265-270 now. The lightest end on the Texans before Montgomery was 285.

Is he big enough to play end in a 3-4?  

“I’m strong enough to play a 3-4 end,” said Montgomery without hesitation. He added that his strength will allow him to battle with huge offensive linemen. He said he thinks he’s at a good playing weight now.

Montgomery is wearing No. 95. He switched with Justin Tuggle, who will get 57.

While Montgomery has traded in the No. 57, he said he won’t forget what he learned while wearing it. Playing from a two-point stance and taking on blockers in it was a very tough task for the rookie. But his several months at linebacker helped his education of the Texans’ defense.

“Not only has it helped me to play end, but I also know what all of the four linemen are doing now,” Montgomery said. "Because I’ve learned the linebacker position as well as what the D-ends have to do, the D-tackles on the inside. So I’m learning the whole concept of the defense.”