When running back David Montgomery was analyzing potential teams he would like to play for before the draft, he said the Bears came up No. 1 on his list. The fit was that good, from general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy on down.
‘‘Coach Nagy is a great coach,’’ Montgomery, the Bears’ third-round draft pick, said Saturday. ‘‘The values that he lives by and what he stands for as a coach is definitely big. And me understanding that and trying to kind of pattern myself and do the same thing.’’
Montgomery has a lot to learn, but he can see how Nagy’s playbook can take advantage of his versatility. And he already has shown the fluidity as a receiver out of the backfield that made him so enticing to the Bears.
‘‘I’m very confident in myself as far as catching the ball,’’ Montgomery said. ‘‘I played quarterback in high school, so I was catching the ball every play we ran out of the gun. So I got used to it over time.’’
Nagy said he already is excited about the possibilities.
‘‘Well, he had a nice catch down the sideline [Saturday]. Did you see it?’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He’s extremely focused when he’s in practice, which I love. He’s very dialed in to whatever his assignment is. He loves being out here.
‘‘It’s not a lot of running right now, but when he gets the chance to [carry] the football, he sprints through that hole, makes some cuts, makes some moves and he’s gone.’’
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Spencer Evans, who trailed the field in the early going of the kicking derby Friday, was the top performer Saturday, typifying the up-and-down nature of a competition that has no clear leader after two days.
Evans, a tryout rookie from Purdue, was among six of the eight kickers who made a 42-yard field goal in front of teammates at the end of the team portion of practice. Chris Blewitt, Emmit Carpenter, Casey Bednarski, Elliott Fry and Justin Yoon also connected. Redford Jones and John Baron II missed.
Running back Matt Forte was the consummate teammate in his eight-year career with the Bears, setting high standards as a hard worker and versatile player who sacrificed personal gain and glory for the good of the team.
Nagy hopes those attributes will rub off on the current players, which was one of the ideas behind him inviting former Bears to talk with the rookies at a dinner at Halas Hall.
‘‘He’s a very, very wise man,’’ Montgomery said of Forte. ‘‘Just being able to pass some of the gold nuggets that he took from playing and being such a great back. I was definitely trying to . . . just soak it all in like a sponge.’’
‘‘He just told me to attack practice each and every day, form good habits and then good things will happen,’’ said running back Kerrith Whyte, a seventh-round pick from Florida Atlantic. ‘‘He said it was a great organization, the city is lovely and I should have a great experience here.’’