After speed training, David Montgomery shows off explosiveness

Montgomery’s 41-yard run Sunday was the fourth-longest of his career.

SHARE After speed training, David Montgomery shows off explosiveness
David Montgomery runs against the Rams on Sunday night.

David Montgomery runs against the Rams on Sunday night.

Harry How/Getty Images

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Bears running backDavid Montgomerydoubled down on his speed training during the offseason to become more explosive on long runs than he was before.

It didn’t take long to see the results.

On the Bears’ first drive Sunday, Montgomery took a handoff left, made one cut behind the line of scrimmage and ran up the middle.

He was touched by two Rams: outside linebackerLeonard Floyd, whose right hand Montgomery swatted away just past the line of scrimmage, and inside linebackerKenny Young, who shoved him out of bounds down the right sideline 41 yards later.

It was the fourth-longest run of Montgomery’s career. He had an 80-yard touchdown run against the Texans last season, a 57-yarder against the Packers last season and a 55-yarder against the Chargers in 2019.

For the last 18 months, Montgomery has been training with Hinsdale Central history teacherChris Korist, who uses slow-motion cameras and computers at his home in Burr Ridge to optimize players’ speed.

Earlier this year, Montgomery said he realized he ‘‘didn’t know how to run’’ until he started doing the speed training.

Montgomery showed his strength, too.

Late in the first half, he was hit squarely in the backfield by Rams nose tackleSebastian Joseph-Day, who, at 310 pounds, is almost 90 pounds heavier than Montgomery. But Montgomery bounced off him and plowed forward for a gain of three yards. He capped that drive with a three-yard touchdown run.

Last season, it took the Bears 18 quarters before their first rushing touchdown of the season.

Rookie return

Rookie running backKhalil Herbert’sjob this season is to replaceCordarrelle Patterson, one of the most dominant kick returners of his era. He got off to a good start against the Rams.

In his first career play, Herbert returned the opening kickoff 50 yards. At one point, it looked as though he had the entire right-hand side of the field to himself, but he was pushed out of bounds by safetyTaylor Rapp.

It was the Bears’ second-longest kick return of the last two seasons. Patterson posted a 104-yard kick return last season against the Vikings. Before that, his longest return was a 57-yarder against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day of 2019.

Inactives

After competing againstMarqui Christianfor the starting job at slot cornerback throughout training camp,Duke Shelleywas a surprise inactive before the game.

The Bears’ other inactives were receiverBreshad Perriman, inside linebackerJoel Iyiegbuniwe, offensive linemanLachavious Simmons, tight endJesper Horstedand nose tackleEddie Goldman.

The Bears ruled Goldman out Saturday after he hurt his knee during practice last Monday.

Opening ceremony

Even though SoFi Stadium is a year old, the Rams held a grand-opening ceremony before the game to commemorate the first regular-season game with fans in attendance.

NFL Network broadcasterRich Eisen— whose company moved into a studio in the stadium parking lot last week — served as the emcee.

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