- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
REDSKINS 2013: Will Montgomery proves perseverance still matters
Question of the Day
In a career that has taken him from Centreville High to Virginia Tech to a trio of NFL teams, Redskins center Will Montgomery has had a lot of teammates and coaches. All of them, he said, provided him with a chance to learn something.
A tip from former Redskins line coach Joe Bugel probably resonates the most.
“They’re always looking to find the next-best thing, and Coach Bugel one time said you needed to do your job so good, so great that they didn’t have a choice but to keep you,” Montgomery said. “I took that to heart. I try to do things the right way with film study and preparation, and to play each game like they’re trying to replace me.
“You just keep your nose down, try to do your job, try to get better all the time.”
Montgomery is a bit like that piece you might find at a yard sale, some piece of silverware or jewelry. You buy it at a bargain and later discover it is a valuable item. One team’s discards are indeed another’s treasures. Finding gold among the castoffs is one key to staying power in the NFL. Like Virginia Tech did before them, the Redskins have discovered Montgomery is indeed gold.
Tech didn’t initially offer Montgomery a scholarship. He went as a recruited walk-on and became a mainstay on the line. He was a seventh-round pick of the Carolina Panthers (234th overall) in 2006. He played six games there and was released. The New York Jets signed him. He played seven games there and was released.
The Redskins signed him on Dec. 9, 2008. He has played 61 games for them, starting every one the past two seasons and becoming one of the team’s most respected players in the process.
“I definitely love the way he plays, and I appreciate his work ethic,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “He makes my job easier at the line of scrimmage, so I don’t have to worry about too many things.”
Said fullback Darrel Young, “Will’s been a leader of this offense for a couple of years now. He’s a great story. He came out of nowhere in college and now he could be a Pro Bowler. He makes this offense go. He knows stuff before it happens. I’ve said to him, ‘Will, why did you do that?’ and he says, ‘You just know sometimes.’ I can respect that and hopefully I can get to that level one day.”
Montgomery is hardly small. He’s 6-3 and 305 pounds. He’s not going to break stopwatches with his speed. The things that stand out about him may not be noticeable with a quick look. What he does have is prodigious strength and an almost savant-like knowledge of the game. He studies it and retains everything.
“I guess everybody wants those guys who are 6-5, 320 and run like a deer,” Montgomery said. “I think I’ve always just been pretty good at football, and I continue to improve my craft each year.”
When Montgomery arrived at Tech, the coaching staff figured out pretty quickly that Montgomery was considerably better than they thought. He spent a few days working with the defensive line before moving over to offense “and the rest is history,” Tech defensive line coach Charley Wiles said.
“He wasn’t a wash over with us. Obvious natural strength. Amazing strength. Moved around well. But it was obvious he could be a starter on the other side of the ball. He’s a guy who is probably a little more athletic than he gets credit for, a guy you really like once you get a chance to work with him.”
Bryan Stinespring, the Hokies’ offensive line coach, said Montgomery is “a great lesson in determination. He has those ‘measurables’ that you really can’t measure. He’s the smartest guy on the field. He’s the toughest guy on the field. He’s doing to do whatever he can to be successful.
“There’s certain things about every individual you can’t gauge on film. Desire? Drive? You get them on the field and it shows up. They start to separate themselves.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Break but don't bend? Bryce Harper quandary rears its head again for Nats
- HARRIS: Offseason nothing to look forward to for Caps or Wizards
- HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they're no illusion
- HARRIS: Echoes of 1978 NBA champs in these Wizards
- HARRIS: Wizards have moved to head of D.C.'s class
Latest Blog Entries
- Gio Gonzalez living a dream by throwing bullpen sessions to ex-Yankee Jorge Posada
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors