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Montgomery's First In Line At Center


Will Montgomery has emerged as a leading candidate for the starting center position.

The 6-year veteran has taken the bulk of reps at the position since the team released Casey Rabach prior to training camp.

"Every day is an opportunity out there," Montgomery said after Saturday's practice. "I like playing center, so I've been practicing it the last couple days. I'd like to be the guy, and I have all camp to prove that I am the guy."

Rabach anchored the center position for the last six years. Now it's Montgomery's turn.

"That's the position I've played since college, off and on between guard and center," Montgomery said. "So I'm very comfortable with it."

Since joining the Redskins in 2008, Montgomery, a Centreville, Va., native, has served as a backup and spot starter mostly at right guard.

Last season, Montgomery played in 13 games, starting six at right guard toward the end of the season.

Montgomery is a versatile offensive lineman, but he likes the power of being in the middle of it all at the center position.

"At center, you're just taking control of the whole offense," Montgomery said. "You're playing out the schemes. Everybody's working the zone blocks, but you can just really get after it. You cover for your guard on the inside and outside zone, so it's just a fun spot."

Asked for an evaluation of Montgomery, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said: "When Will stepped in here, he competed. It does not always look clean, but he fights you to the end. It is going to be a long day for whoever he is going against. He's strong, he's feisty, and he cared as much as you can care."

Only a few NFL teams have exclusive zone blocking from their offensive lines, and Shanahan's offense is one of them.

Montgomery enjoys playing in this mobile type of offense, and his athleticism fits nicely.

"It's just fun to get out there and go run," Montgomery said. "We have a bunch of athletic O-lineman, and I think it's going to work out real well."

Of course, the offensive line isn't sure who they will be blocking for when the season starts, but for now John Beck is receiving the reps at quarterback.

"It's great. He's taking command of the huddle," Montgomery said of Beck. "He has a presence back there, and we have confidence in him. We're just excited to play."

Said Beck: "I have a lot of trust in Will because I saw him come in last year, battle like crazy and I thought he did a great job at guard. Now they're moving him to center which he's played before."

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