In a camp with few position battles, Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache revealed Monday that 2007 starter Anthony Montgomery and 2006 starter Kedric Golston are in a serious battle for the defensive tackle job next to veteran Cornelius Griffin.
And Golston was challenging for the spot even before Montgomery broke a bone in his right hand in the July 26 scrimmage that sidelined him for at least 10 days.
"That position, no one owns that," Blache said in his weekly meeting with the media. "That's a position that's definitely going to be won week-to-week, day-to-day. We look at those guys actually on the same basis.
"That's been a heated competition since the start of OTAs. They've both been told that. They both bring certain strengths to the table. It's just matter of who's got the hot hand at a given time. This is a 'What have you done for me lately?' business, and a guy that gets a little fat, thinks for a second, 'That's my job,' they're mistaken."
The towering 6-foot-6, 315-pound Montgomery started all last season next to Griffin, but Blache said the stockier 6-4, 320-pound Golston played so well in the playoff loss at Seattle that he would have played had the Redskins advanced.
"Kedric was right on Monty's hip last year," Blache said.
And apparently in his head this offseason.
"When you have guy that's got that kind of talent sitting right behind a guy, boy it gives you great leverage," Blache said. "When Monty woke up in the morning, if he [wanted] to roll over and hit the snooze button and not come to work, he'd have to worry about seeing Kedric's face. I think a lot of time, he turned the snooze button off and came in because he knew Kedric's ghost was right there [looking over] his shoulder waiting for him."
Samuels makes progress
Amid the chaos of Chris Samuels' birthday celebration, the veteran offensive tackle did have some news about his ongoing recovery from offseason elbow surgery. Samuels said he hopes to participate in full-contact drills for the first time Tuesday but was uncertain about his status for the team's preseason opener Sunday against Indianapolis.
"If Coach [Bugel] tells me to get out there, I'll be out there," Samuels said. "It is feeling pretty good. I'm working out every day with the dumbbells, and I'm almost to my weight that I was doing before I got [the surgery]. I think I'm just about there. Give me another week and I'll be up to full speed."
Linebacker H.B. Blades has a sprained left knee. The primary backup to middle linebacker London Fletcher, Blades was expected to see a lot of action at that position against the Colts.
Safety Stuart Schweigert was in full pads but spent the morning practice working out with the other injured players. He said his calf was sore from a hit in the scrimmage Saturday, and a team official deemed it a "mild calf strain." He was able to do some work in the afternoon special teams session.
Schweigert signed as a free agent in June after four seasons with Oakland. Blache dismissed the idea of Schweigert and Reed Doughty being in competition for the starting spot opposite LaRon Landry.
"Reed's our safety," Blache said. "Stuart's trying to earn a roster spot on this football team. If we have to play a game tomorrow, Reed is our safety."
Running back Eric Shelton, who did not practice Sunday, was not on the field for the morning session because of a neck injury. Montgomery and linebacker Rian Wallace were also missing because both were having hand surgery to repair broken bones.