Like buddies interested in the same woman, Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston are in an awkward situation. Both rookie defensive tackles are trying to win a spot on the Washington Redskins, but they know that, at best, there probably will be room for only one on the 53-man roster.
Returning starters Cornelius Griffin, Joe Salave'a, Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn and high-priced newcomer Andre Carter are locks. Backups Ryan Boschetti, Cedric Killings and Nic Clemons have all been with the Redskins for two years.
"It's going to be hard," assistant defensive line coach Kirk Olivadotti said when assessing the chances of Montgomery and Golston making the team. "We like both those guys and they're catching on, but they both have a long way to go. It's going to be hard. There are a lot of guys on the line who have been here and play the way we like them to play."
Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams was a little more optimistic.
"There will be some [defensive tackles] who won't make it who would've been good enough to make it the last two years," Williams said. "Golston has a lot of sheer power and anchor and Montgomery has great hand placement and might have a little more pass rush about him. I can't wait to see them in pads. There's only so much you can see a defensive tackle do in shorts."
In any case, fifth-round draft pick Montgomery and sixth-rounder Golston are relaxed about their competition, which is a good thing since they're roommates.
"We're just chillin'," Montgomery said with a laugh after yesterday's mandatory minicamp practice at Redskin Park.
"After being here for three or four weeks [of practice], we're starting to get the hang of it," Golston said. "The speed of [the May 5-7] rookie camp was up a level from college, but it went up another two or three levels once the veterans got out there. They've got the little tricks that you don't know. They don't have to work as hard as you do to get the same results."
Both the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Montgomery, who started 29 games at Minnesota, and the 6-4, 292-pound Golston, who started 30 games at Georgia, said the veterans have been helpful. The veteran defensive linemen, that is.
"I'm learning a lot, starting to catch on to the speed of the game," Montgomery said. "It's a lot different than rookie camp because the veteran [offensive linemen] hardly make any mistakes. They're a lot stronger and they move a lot faster. Plus they have all that knowledge of the game."
Plays of the day
Players don't wear pads in minicamp, which is supposed to be non-contact, but don't tell that to Mike Sellers. The 278-pound fullback knocked safety Adam Archuleta off his feet after one short pass. ...
Second-year quarterback Jason Campbell continued to impress by drilling Jimmy Farris and Antwaan Randle El with consecutive passes over the middle on which the receivers beat Archuleta and cornerback Dimitri Patterson, respectively. However, safety Sean Taylor put an end to Campbell's hot streak by blanketing Randle El so tightly that the quarterback never even bothered to release the ball.
The Frenchman cometh
At least one more player will be on hand for training camp. French linebacker Philippe Gardent, the co-Defensive MVP of NFL Europe after leading the league with 70 tackles for Cologne, is guaranteed a spot on an expanded practice squad in the third year of a special NFL program. ... Guard Kili Lefotu, the first of Washington's seventh-rounders, and linebacker Kevin Simon, Washington's other seventh-rounder, are close to agreeing on contracts. When those deals go down, only Montgomery, Golston and second-round linebacker Rocky McIntosh, Washington's lone first-day selection, will remain unsigned.