Montgomery returns, says he’s a better player

Montgomery returns, says he’s a better player
August 6, 2013, 12:30 pm
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3 and Out: Tuesday injury update

(USA Today Images)

Sam Montgomery’s NFL career hasn’t gotten off to the best start.

The Texans’ third-round pick from LSU struggled his way through rookie camp when he first arrived in Houston. He then showed some promise during OTAs.

But then came training camp.

Montgomery reported to camp out of shape and was placed on the Non-Football Injury list. He did enough in a few days to get taken off the list and was allowed to practice. But in that very first practice, Montgomery hurt his ankle and has been missing since.

Until Tuesday.

After recovering from a right ankle injury that required a boot for a few days, Montgomery returned to practice and participated in position drills at the Methodist Training Center on Tuesday.

“The ankle feels pretty good,” Montgomery said. “I’m doing drops, doing cuts, doing sprints, getting out of stances and everything I can normally. It’s a little sore at times but still I push through it and get better every day.”

While Montgomery did some things on Tuesday he wasn’t a full participant. After practice, he ran on the side field.

“I know he did a little bit today. He’s just behind,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “It’s going to take some time and we’re trying to work him through the soreness of his ankle sprain and obviously he’s not going to be a part of what we’re doing this week I don’t think. I may be premature in saying that, but a long way to go.”

That was the second time Kubiak mentioned that Montgomery is behind. Last Thursday, a seemingly frustrated Kubiak said Montgomery was “way behind the team.”

But Montgomery doesn’t think so.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m right there with the team,” Montgomery said. “You know, I come out there every day with my notepad, my book and I take a lot of mental reps, write down everything, do what I’m supposed to do and I take advantage of every last opportunity I’m given.”

While he missed nine full days of training camp, Montgomery thinks he returned on Tuesday a better player than when he left. He knows the playbook now, he said.
 
“It was just a whole thing of being a pro, learning how to get out there and how to get yourself better without even being in the plays,” he said. “Ed Reed does such a great job of it; a lot of older guys helped me out. It’s helping make me into a pro.”

Montgomery isn’t expected to play in the first preseason game on Friday, which he said will be difficult but he’s OK with it. He’ll be there, watching, taking notes, trying to get better.

This isn’t the ideal way to start an NFL career, but the rookie from Greenwood, S.C. is trying to take it in stride.

“Well, you know, in life there is a lot of adversity,” Montgomery said. “Every man or woman has to conquer adversity in life. I believe that’s one of the things that helps you grow into a man or a woman. I just believer that I’m writing my history right here of what kind of guy I am and what kind of player I’m going to be.”