GREEN BAY – Ty Montgomery is doing his best to make up for lost time.
Until late last week, the third-round draft pick and receiver from Stanford hadn’t been able to practice with the Packers since rookie orientation in early May due to Stanford’s school calendar.
He was finally free to come to Green Bay for the final two OTA practices, and his third time on the field was for Tuesday’s first minicamp workout.
It’s been a challenge “trying to learn seven or eight installs in two days,” he said, but finishing school doesn’t appear to have set him back all that much. On Tuesday during 11-on-11 work, he snared a bullet over the middle from backup QB Scott Tolzien on a post route and also hauled in a quick slant near the goal line.
“I thought Ty looked excellent,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He had a very good practice Friday, and I thought he had another good practice today. He does some things very natural. He’s picked it up really quick, especially for someone that hasn’t been here.”
While the Stanford education certainly helps Montgomery process the playbook in a hurry, his well-built frame (6-0, 216) makes him look like he belongs as well. McCarthy anticipates him getting opportunities on special teams, perhaps as a return man, as well as on offense.
“He seems to be a real good kid, other than his college choice,” joked Aaron Rodgers, a product of Stanford’s biggest rival, Cal. “He seems to be pretty intelligent. Obviously has the body type to do some things we like around here.
“He’s got a bright future with us, but this is just his first couple days.”
They are days Montgomery is thankful for, so he at least gets some on-field time before training camp begins in late July. The political science major squeezed in graduation this past weekend while studying the offense as though it’s his newest class.
He couldn’t do anything about Stanford’s calendar or the related NFL rules, but that didn’t make it any easier to be 2,000 miles away for the past month.
“It kind of felt like being grounded and all your other friends get to go play,” he said. “But graduation means a lot, not only to me but my family. That Stanford degree can never be taken away from me. That being said, I did want to be out here, a lot.”
Since returning to Green Bay, Montgomery has asked the veteran receivers his questions and tried to “watch and learn.” He also has attempted to keep his mind clear on the field by focusing on simply playing fast and confident. Mistakes might as well be made “full speed” as he catches up with the offense and fights the natural rookie nerves.
“I don’t want to have any wasted reps for myself,” he said. “I don’t want to waste anybody else’s time, not knowing what to do.
“It’s different when you study the playbook in your room, and then you get out there and there’s 10 other guys and you all have to be on the same page.”
It’ll be different come training camp, too, when errors aren’t as easily shrugged off, and the competition for the No. 4 and 5 receiver spots – behind the entrenched trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams – promises to be fierce.
“You see he has that confidence in him, and you see him carry it out on the field,” Cobb said. “He believes in himself, and once he gets this offense down, I think he’ll be pretty good.”