David Montgomery guesses he's played in just two primetime games in his NFL career. C.J. Gardner-Johnson says he's played in 10, including last year's Super Bowl. They'll play in their first one together in their first game with the Lions, who are kicking off the 2023 NFL season on Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"To play primetime, super dope, bro," Montgomery told Gardner-Johnson as they went head to head in a game of NBA 2K, streamed Tuesday by the Lions. "To be able to be like, everybody’s watching us."
"So it’s like a Super Bowl feeling," said Gardner-Johnson, who made the playoffs in 2019 and 2020 with the Saints and played in the Super Bowl last season with the Eagles.
"I aint ever had that feeling," said Montgomery, who made the playoffs once in four seasons with the Bears, who went 25-41 over that span and sunk to 3-14 last season in a 'race' for the No. 1 pick. "I’m really envious of you."
Losing, said Montgomery, is "all I was used to."
"It got to a point where it really sucked the fun out of the game for me, because I’m a competitor," he said. "I like to compete, that’s what football’s about. But it’s so refreshing to be in a place where that’s appreciated and that’s what you get to do."
The landscape of the NFC North has changed dramatically. At this time last year, the Lions were coming off a three-win season and their fourth straight last-place finish. Now they're favored to win it, on the heels of an 8-2 surge to close last season and aggressive moves in free agency and the draft.
"When we come to the Lions, I feel like now, with the firepower we got, from players to coaches, I think it can really change," said Gardner-Johnson, one of the top defensive backs on the market who signed with Detroit for one year, $6.5 million. "Motown mojo. How you feel about that?"
"Being a part of this, it was really one of the main reasons that I came here," said Montgomery, one of the top running backs on the market who signed with Detroit for three years, $18 million. "Just because everybody around here, the coaches and the players, everybody’s bought in already. Everybody around here wants to work. I haven’t been anywhere where it’s like that and it’s a really good team as well."
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