08/02/2018 3:40 AM -
By Mick Moninghoff
This Saturday night the Massachusetts Pirates play their final regular season game at the DCU Center in Worcester against Lehigh Valley before embarking on their first ever playoff run. The team has made a few late season defensive acquisitions to prepare for the playoff push including the signing of Sam Montgomery, a former third round pick of the Houston Texans (95th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The former All-American from Louisiana State University was most recently in the Canadian Football League with Winnipeg and sees plenty of talent with the Pirates and with the rest of the teams in the National Arena League.
“I get the vibe from the Pirates that there are a lot of NFL guys here and a lot of NFL caliber people in this league. My job with this organization is to come in and put my effort down and use everything that I’ve been trained with and my savvy as a football player and a man. Also use everything that I’ve learned as far as marketing off the field and playing like a dog on the field. I think those are the main things that I want to incorporate for this program,” he said.
Montgomery has always been called on to perform at a high level. He was a four star recruit coming out of Greenwood High School in South Carolina. From there he went on to LSU to play for Les Miles where he received All-American honors as a sophomore helping the Tigers to their last SEC title in 2011. He could have stayed home to play for Clemson or at South Carolina for Steve Spurrier, but he wanted to see how he would stack up playing on one of the top college defensive units in Baton Rouge.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” Montgomery said. I wanted to be different and go against the grain, test myself as a young man, to be out there by myself as well as working with a group of people that I didn’t know. I just wanted to conquer new land.”
He did just that becoming a two-time All-Conference selection, stopping ball carriers in the run oriented SEC.
“We were used to smash mouth football. There were different teams that ran different styles. Some ran spread offenses, some from the I formation but the SEC was more of a powerhouse run game league. Every conference had its own niche so when you crossed over into another conference there could be a problem.” he added.
After being drafted by the Texans he saw time with Oakland and Cincinnati from 2013 to 2015. The NFL taught him to be versatile.
“I think it helped my diversity playing defensive line, tackle and from playing stand up to hand down. One of the things I realized is regardless of your size, if you have quickness and great technique then that makes up for a lot of things. It’s just effort. I think that from playing with each professional team and each different positon that it has developed me as an ultimate defensive lineman.”
From there it was on the CFL with Edmonton and Winnipeg where he used rule changes that are unfamiliar to some to his advantage.
“The league isn’t strange, it actually helps. It’s tailored to the offense but if you’re a great player you’ll find a way to make plays. You have to accelerate on your “get off,” the moves are a little more down the field, so you can’t project your moves. You need a fast “get off.” That gets rid of 90 percent of your problems.“
Now Montgomery will use his past experience as motivation for himself and his new teammates.
“It all depends on who you follow and your personal mind set,” he said. “When I have a situation that doesn’t go my way with a team or an organization, my effort and being a great person in the locker room and off the field will help me to catch on somewhere at some point in time. If not, then I guess I’ll have to take down each quarterback and bring them with me and they can use me as a teaching tape.”
Like every player, Montgomery has aspirations of taking his game to the next level and he’s sees that the Pirates can play a big part in making that happen.
“With a great coaching staff, management and facilities, you have to be a professional take advantage of the things that are available to you off the field and use this time to re-educate yourself on how to market a brand, how to go out into a community and do those things. Use this as a step to get back to where you want to go by doing the little things right off the field and by performing how you’re supposed to on the field.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2018 season are now available. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $60.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Kara Mancini at 508-929-0125 or email email@example.com. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.