It’s not as if people only recently began taking their mental health seriously, but it does feel like more people are opening up to others about it publicly. That’s a good thing and has a cascading effect. And the professional sports realm is now exception. It’s refreshing, especially because we often see pro athletes as larger-than-life beings. But in reality, they’re just humans — like the rest of us.
And I believe David Montgomery drives home that point in discussing his own battles with depression here:
“I was just mentally depressed. I was. Since I was here as a rookie. It had nothing to do with the coaches, it was more so with myself not meeting the standards or the expectations that I put on myself going back to creating unnecessary pressures for myself. A lot of people don’t understand being in the NFL. Like us, as individuals, we go through a lot of mental battles on a daily basis. But since we’re athletes and we’re professionals and we get a lot of money, that gets overlooked. But at the end of the day, w’ere still human beings and people forget about that.
For a while, I masked it. I let it be what it was. But at the end of the day, my mentality and my mental was the most important part of my life. And I could not continue to live my life unhappy. I was in a bad place mentally. I was unhappy. But it’s on the up-and-up now, and I’m grateful and blessed that God brought me here and I’m where I’m at.”
All of that is just so well said by Montgomery. He gives us perspective, depth, and the type of raw honesty fans often ask of their favorite players. Keep on fighting the good fight, David. We’re all glad you’re here.
Where is That Contract Extension?
There is no smooth transition from discussing mental health concerns to a contract extension for a player in the final year of his rookie deal. Nevertheless ….
Montgomery was asked about being in a contract year and what it was like being on the cusp of a season where you can prove yourself ahead of going into the open market:
“I really haven’t thought too much about that honestly. I’m on a spiritual journey right now for myself and being sure that I’m focusing on keeping the main thing the main thing. I’m going to go out every day with the opportunity to be the best I can be. When it’s all said and done, God will take me and put me where I need to be.”
This seems to be status quo for Montgomery, who doesn’t seem bothered by being in a walk year. Remember, Montgomery was playing coy when discussing a potential extension back in April. And while there was buzz in early March that Montgomery could get an extension from the Bears, there hasn’t been much on that front since. Given the context of Montgomery’s words above, I’m not sure we’ll get any more buzz about a new deal any time soon.
‘A Lot of People Are Looking at Us the Wrong Way’
I feel as if this quote best describes the state of the rebuilding Bears:
“Everyone has their own personal goals. I have my own personal goals. But right now, I’m shadowing my personal goals for the overall goal as a team. And that’s just to win and get on top of this thing. And prove a lot of people wrong because a lot of people are looking at us the wrong way.”
There isn’t a player who doesn’t have goals they want to reach going into a given year. But there is an aspect of selflessness that I think each player thinks about at the same time. We’ve seen the Bears splinter over the last two seasons, with last year’s spiral leading to a regime change. However, with new coaches, systems, and ideas in place, there seems to be more emphasis on pulling from the same end of the rope. It might not lead to 10+ wins in 2022, but it could be the foundation for a team that does so down the line.
There is plenty of good conversation between Montgomery, Stacey Dales, and Adam Rank. You can watch more of their discussion below:
Montgomery on Justin Fields: “I’m Just Going to Let Him Do What He Do”
If you weren’t already hyped for Justin Fields’ sophomore season in Chicago, this quote from Montgomery during his time with Dales and Rank will take you to that level:
“Justin is probably the best athlete that I’ve seen since playing (in Chicago). What he can do, with him being able to pick up the offense now, he’s going to be dangerous. I’m not going to sit here and say watch out because that’s what we say every year. I’m not going to say anything, I’m just going to say nothing, I’m just going to let him do what he do. And at the end of the season, y’all can come back and y’all can talk to me and ask me if I was right or not.”
And with that, I’m ready for Bears football!
If you want to check out Montgomery’s full press conference, check out the video below: