- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
- In Colorado, a pot holiday tries to go mainstream
REDSKINS 2013: Will Montgomery proves perseverance still matters
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Wizards have moved to head of D.C.'s class
- HARRIS: Bad luck or bigger omen, early returns for Nationals are troubling
- HARRIS: Masters has plenty of appeal in Tiger's absence
- HARRIS: Throwing it all away: What to do with Ryan Zimmerman?
- HARRIS: Fans get an early taste of replay's impact on baseball
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
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.