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Monday, June 25, 2018

Sam Montgomery admits lack of effort, bets with teammate at LSU

Sam MontgomerySam Montgomery may have hurt his draft stock by making some admissions during the NFL Combine Saturday, but at least he gets credit for being honest. Well, maybe he was too honest.

Montgomery, a junior defensive end from LSU, admitted that he would take plays off and give less effort against weaker opponents. He also admitted he would make bets with a teammate based on who would perform better in games.

Montgomery was responding to a question about his LSU coaches saying he didn’t always give maximum effort during games when he gave his answer.

“You know, some weeks when we didn’t have to play the harder teams, there were some times when effort was not needed,” Montgomery said, via Pro Football Talk. “But when we had the big boys coming in, the [Alabamas] or the South Carolinas, I grabbed close to those guys and went all out.

“Of course, this is a new league, the NFL and there are no small teams, small divisions, it is all Alabamas and LSUs every week. It’s definitely something I have to get adjusted to, but I’m sure with the right coaching I will be fine.”

Montgomery says that he is maturing, which seems to be his way of saying that he will act more professionally in the future.

Montgomery registered 37 tackles and eight sacks last season (including the bowl game). He had two sacks in five games his freshman season in 2010 before tearing the ACL in his knee. He recorded nine sacks in 2011.

Montgomery says he and fellow LSU defensive lineman Barkevious Mingo used to bet on who would perform better during games. He says they bet $500 on who would have more sacks in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (LSU lost 25-24 to Clemson), and that they bet $1,000 on who would have more sacks on the season. Montgomery won both bets, but he is likely to lose the biggest one of all. The two have wagered $5,000 and a car wash on who gets drafted first in April. Mingo is projected as a higher pick.

Though the thought of college football players betting on their performance is alarming, Montgomery says it is beneficial.

“Here’s the thing: Hard work, and betting like that, pushes greatness,” Montgomery said, according to Pro Football Talk. “That’s actually motivating me and Mingo. It’s not about the money, it’s about pushing us, at the combine and the drills in between. That’s what is pushing us to be the best.

“It’s always been competitive for me and Mingo and it makes us better in the end. He’s a fast defensive end, I’m more physical. We have to switch over in those realms, so putting big stakes on it makes us more dominant players in the end.”

If you’re questioning Montgomery’s character after learning that about his lack of effort and his wagers, you’re not alone. According to Draft Insider, LSU coaches have been slamming Montgomery at the combine. They reportedly have been saying that his “attitude and personality” did not sit well with former teammates and coaches.

If you have been following Montgomery, these admissions should not come as much of a surprise. He has shown a lack of awareness and a tendency to be overly truthful in the past. Two years ago, he admitted he had no idea who Bear Bryant is. Then, in November, he went overboard with his praise of Johnny Manziel:

Montgomery is a good player, but whoever drafts him knows what they are getting into ahead of time.

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