Sam Montgomery's Move From LB to DE Best For Him, Houston Texans

By Cooper Welch
Sam Montgomery
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Montgomery, a former defense end for LSUwas taken by the Houston Texans with the 95th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and was originally designated as an outside linebacker. But weight issues and a general lack of finesse for the position, plus the Texans’ depth at outside linebacker, have combined to force the Texans to utilize Montgomery in his natural position.

Montgomery started in 31 games for LSU, and 26 of those games he started as a defensive end. He had 19 sacks at the position, and accrued an impressive -114 yards in the process, placing him sixth on the all-time LSU list. Antonio Smith was mentoring Montgomery as he made his transition from defensive end to outside linebacker, and is glad to see Montgomery back where he belongs in a three-point stance.

“It’s kind of like an inside joke between a couple of us players that pretty much already knew it was inevitable because he’s a big boy and I don’t think he tries to gain weight, but he’s just big,” Smith said while on Texans Radio on Sports Radio 610. “He’s naturally big, not fat. He’s got all muscle. The weight thing just kept being an issue and I’d seen it in him since day one. He just didn’t look comfortable in a stand-up position. Now that (defensive line) coach (Bill) Kollar has been working with him in his stance, he’s been playing a lot better. He looks a lot more comfortable with his hand in the dirt.”

Montgomery had struggled playing OLB, and had not yet made it onto the field in the regular season. He would have had a lot of work ahead of him trying to get ahead of Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, Bryan Braman and Willie Jefferson. He’s still far removed from playing as a DE, as J.J. Watt and Smith are cemented in their spots, and Jared Crick and Tim Jamison are performing well in the rotation. Even so, he’s of more use to the Texans as a DE, even if it’s just as a trade piece. Smith is pretty sure that this is what’s best for Montgomery as well, and that he can see him playing for the Texans as a DE.

“I definitely think he can,” Smith said. “I think, and this is just my opinion, he’s a natural left end, a 4-3 left end, but I think anything you put your mind to, with the type of athletic ability and strength that kid has, he can be good at it.”

Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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