It’s not as if people have only recently started taking their mental health seriously, but it feels like more and more people are opening up publicly to others about it. This is a good thing and has a cascading effect. And the field of professional sports is already an exception. It’s refreshing, especially because we often see professional athletes as larger-than-life beings. But in reality, they are just human – like all of us.
And I believe David Montgomery makes this point by 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, but rather that I myself was not living up to the standards or expectations I had placed on myself, going back to creating unnecessary pressure on myself. A lot of people don’t understand being in the NFL. Like us, as individuals, we go through many mental battles on a daily basis. But because we’re athletes and we’re professionals and we get paid a lot, it gets overlooked. But at the end of the day we are still human beings and people forget that.
I masked it for a while. I let it be what it was. But in the end, my mentality and my mind were the most important part of my life. And I couldn’t go on living my life unhappy. I was in a bad place mentally. I was miserable. But now it’s up and I’m thankful and blessed that God brought me here and I’m where I am.”
This is all so well said by Montgomery. He gives us perspective, depth and the kind of raw honesty that fans often want from their favorite players. Keep up the good fight David. We’re all glad you’re here.
Where is this contract extension?
There is no smooth transition from discussing mental health issues to extending a player’s contract in the final year of his rookie contract. However ….
Montgomery was asked about being in a contract year and what it’s like to be on the verge of a season where you can prove yourself before hitting the open market:
“I haven’t really thought too much about it, to be honest. I’m on a spiritual journey for myself right now and I’m sure I’m focusing on keeping the essentials. I will go out every day with the opportunity to be the best I can be. When it’s all said and done, God will pick me up and put me where I need to be.”
That seems to be the status quo for Montgomery, who doesn’t seem fazed by being in a walk year. Remember, Montgomery played coy when discussing a potential extension in April. And while there were rumblings in early March that Montgomery might get an extension from the Bears, there hasn’t been much on that front since then. Given the context of Montgomery’s words above, I’m not sure we’ll get any more buzz about a new deal anytime soon.
“A lot of people look at us the wrong way”
I feel like this quote best describes the condition of the recovering bears:
“Everyone has their own personal goals. I have my own personal goals. But right now I’m overshadowing my personal goals for the common goal as a team. And that’s just to win and get to the top of this thing. And prove a lot of people wrong because a lot of people look at us the wrong way.
There isn’t a player who doesn’t have goals they want to achieve in any given year. But there is one aspect of selflessness that I think every player thinks about at the same time. We’ve seen the Bears split over the past two seasons, with last year’s spiral leading to a regime change. However, with new coaches, systems and ideas, 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 later on.
There are very good conversations between Montgomery, Stacey Dales and Adam Rank. You can watch more of their discussion below:
Montgomery on Justin Fields: ‘I’ll just let him do what he does’
If you weren’t already excited for Justin Fields’ second season in Chicago, this quote from Montgomery during his time with Dales and Rank will bring you to that level:
“Justin is probably the best athlete I’ve seen since I’ve been playing (in Chicago). What he can do, being able to take the attack now, he will be dangerous. I’m not going to sit here and say be careful because that’s what we say every year. I won’t say anything, I just won’t say anything, I’ll just let him do what he does. And at the end of the season you can all come back and talk to me and ask me if I was right or wrong.”
And with that I’m ready for Bears football!
If you want to see Montgomery’s full press conference, check out the video below: