What did the team learn from the win and loss in the playoffs? You personally?
M.O: Personally, last year’s playoffs were my first playoff experience. The entire dynamics of the game are different in the playoffs. Everyone had to adjust but the more playoffs we make, the easier it will be. Overall, the playoffs are the same game of football, the same amount of time, the same guys, the same field- just a different atmosphere. Naturally and involuntarily, we gave 115% effort because of the high intensity and atmosphere.
How did you spend the off-season?
M.O: During the offseason I was honored to make a trip with Freddie T and some other backs to watch him play in the pro bowl. I spent most of my off season getting involved in the community of my hometown in Delaware; I served as a motivational speaker at schools and enjoyed sharing my story to students to hopefully instill drive into them to achieve their aspirations, whatever they may be. I took a lot of trips and trained in many of the places that I visited. That was a lot of fun.
You received a new deal in the off-season. How does having a little more security make you feel as a player?
M.O: I thoroughly enjoy the role that I have on the team this year. Last year my sole responsibility was special teams captain and I’m ready to perform the same responsibilities this year. As far as security is concerned, I wouldn’t say I am more or less secure then I was last year. I say this because the NFL is a business...this industry is competitive and athletes fight every day to stay employed.
Have you noticed a different feel through the first couple weeks of OTA practices this year, from years past? If so, is the team more confident?
M.O: Last year, there wasn’t a set role for everyone on the team. Everyone has a role this year; in return making the leaders more concrete. The cohesiveness of our team is exceptional and has grown even more due to a greater knowledge of who does what on the field.
Continued in PART 2 – Montell discusses expectations, how the receivers look, and who might be a surprise in training camp