Though an impending quarterback competition between the much-maligned Mitchell Trubisky and the much-traveled Nick Foles is at the forefront of Chicago Bears storylines and their fans' reasoning behind past struggles, the offense as a whole scuttled mightily in 2019.
Entering his second season in Chi-Town, running back David Montgomery is confident he and his backfield brethren will produce better numbers and results in the season ahead.
"It's going to be better this year," Montgomery told reporters Tuesday, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'm going to be better this year for this team and this organization. I'm going to come as prepared as ever to lead that running back room the way I need to -- and be who I need to be for this offense and this team."
During a 2018 run to an NFC North title and the promise of becoming an NFL heavyweight, the Bears offense ranked ninth overall in total points.
In 2019, a free fall in every offensive aspect saw the Bears end a fruitless campaign at 29th in total points. The team's 1,458 yards rushing were 27th in the NFL and the worst output for the Bears since 2014. Marked by just eight rushing scores (28th) and 3.7 yards per attempt (29th), Bears running backs found roads to nowhere and the team suffered as a whole.
Preceded by ample hype and excitement ahead of his rookie season, Montgomery's paltry 3.7 yards per attempt matched the team's average struggles. He finished with 889 yards and six touchdowns -- each team highs and likewise emblematic of the running game's tribulations.
There will be a new offensive coordinator (Bill Lazor) and new hope. More than that, though, Montgomery believes having a season under his belt will bode well as it relates to the better play he's pledged to put forth.
"An entire year of me being in an offense," Montgomery said when asked why he believes a jump in his play is forthcoming. "Me not being solely a complete rookie and me going in with the unknown that, 'I don't know any of the offense,' or me going in with the unknown that I don't know if I'll play or not. [Or] me going with the unknown of not knowing if I will get carries or not, or worrying about all the small stuff that doesn't even matter anymore.
"No, I can really get to playing football now because I'm a year in and I'm a lot more confident. I'm ready to go have fun now."
Montgomery's media call came as he and defensive tackle Nick Williams were recognized as the team's annual Brian Piccolo Award winners, which is bestowed upon Bears who "best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of Brian Piccolo." Piccolo died of embryonal cell carcinoma 50 years ago Tuesday. He was only 26, but his heartbreaking story became a tear-jerking classic (Brian's Song, starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams) and is also part of a long and storied history involving Chicago running backs.
2019 was hardly the continuance of any gloried history of Bears runners, but it's also in the rear view as far as Montgomery is concerned.
"Whatever happened, happened," he said. "I can't go back and change anything. You just take it for what it is and just try to get better, be the best you, you can be every day. And put your best foot forward and just get better."