David Montgomery has cut out the Krispy Kreme donuts. Gone, too, is his favorite flaming hot beef jerky.
The Bears’ 23-year-old running back focused on his diet during the offseason.
“Whenever I felt the craving for a Krispy Kreme donuts, I’d definitely go have one, back in the day,” Montgomery said.
At the professional level, there’s no more skating by on pure talent alone. NFL rookies learn that quickly.
Montgomery came to Chicago last year as the Bears’ top pick (third round) in the 2019 draft. While he showed some promising moments in training camp 2019, he was slow to have an impact during the regular season.
Montgomery soon began to feel sluggish in his movements. He now attributes that to his diet.
“I was a lot slower than I know I was capable of moving at, and it affected the game,” Montgomery said. “I kind of let myself get in the way of myself as far as what I ate last year. I didn’t really care. I was a rookie. I was just eating whatever.”
In the NFL, eating “whatever” usually doesn’t cut it.
Montgomery realizes the flaming hot beef jerky doesn’t sound particularly appetizing to many people, but for him, it was a frequent craving.
Red meat? He cut that in favor of fish and chicken. He has taken a liking to quinoa, too.
The Bears need Montgomery to stay healthy and to play a bigger part in the offense in 2020. The run game disappeared for large stretches of 2019, and the organization made wholesale changes to the offensive coaching staff in order to fix the problem.
Montgomery remains the focal point at running back.
“I love his mentality,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said of Montgomery. “He's a hard worker and I think he's eager to really go out and show what he can do. And he understands that this thing is a marathon and he really has a lot of respect for that part.”
Refocusing his diet has led to a slimmer Montgomery. He said he weighed about 223 or 224 pounds during the season last year. Now, he has slimmed down to 218.
Montgomery trained at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park during the offseason and was one of a number of Bears players who worked with Palatine native Michael Risher on his foot speed.
“I feel amazing actually,” Montgomery said. “I think everything just feels good right now as far as my body. I’m not as sore as I was last year.”