- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2006

Jesse Lumsden could have spent his 24th birthday yesterday on a flight from Hamilton, Ontario, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, for tonight’s Canadian Football League game between the Tiger-Cats and Blue Bombers. Instead, Lumsden was at Redskin Park, pursuing his goal of making the Washington Redskins as a reserve running back and special teams player.

“I’m getting older compared to the guys coming into the league, and you have only a certain time period to get on a team like this before I have to settle myself and find a career,” he said. “This is a great opportunity, and I’m taking full advantage of it. I’m planning on staying here.”

Lumsden signed with the Redskins in January following one season with Hamilton, where he had 60 carries for 307 yards, 11 catches for 153 yards and 11 kickoff returns for a 23.5-yard average. The Tiger-Cats went 5-13.

“[The NFL] is a different game, but football is football,” he said. “Ricky Williams has done well up there, but it’s not like he’s a man playing against boys. It’s a respectable league. Guys may not make as much money, but they work hard.”

Following a standout career at McMaster College in Hamilton (1,816 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns), Lumsden followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Tiger-Cats. Neil Lumsden played 11 years in the CFL, winning three Grey Cups with Edmonton (1980-82) and one as Hamilton’s general manager in 1999.

“He’s a very hard worker in whatever he does, and I think that’s rubbed off on me,” Jesse said. “He pushed me through a lot of stuff, but he never forced me. He always said there was one person doing one more sprint so keep working.”

With an eye toward the NFL, Lumsden began playing special teams last year for Hamilton. In the Redskins’ camp, he’s on all four units.

“I understand that’s the way I’m going to make this team, no doubt about it,” he said. “It was a new experience for me last year, but I actually had a lot of fun with it, flying around the field and doing something I hadn’t done before.”

Lumsden is one of four Redskins not born in the United States. He joins punter David Lonie (Palm Beach, Australia), linebacker Philippe Gardent (Colombes, France) and starting defensive tackle Joe Salave’a (Leone, American Samoa).

Leading by example

Sitting in a tub of ice water yesterday morning, rookie defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery pointed to linebacker Marcus Washington and said, “That’s my inspiration.”

“As far as approaching the game with passion, I watch Marcus,” Montgomery said. “It shows you it’s not about the money with him. He truly loves the game and wants to be the best.”

Montgomery, a fifth-round draft pick from Minnesota, is competing with fellow rookie Kedric Golston and holdovers Ryan Boschetti and Cedric Killings for backup tackle spots. Montgomery said watching the veterans on tape told him he needed to practice harder.

“I was out there practicing but wasn’t working as hard as I should have been,” he said. “I saw the vets on film, and they gave me motivation. That told me I had to step my game up.”

Officials briefing

NFL referee Gene Steratore briefed the media at Redskins Park yesterday on rules changes and points of emphasis.

The key rules changes: Low hits on a quarterback’s knees will be enforced; modifying the horse-collar rule to include the back of the jersey and pads; during an onside kick, the kicking team must have four players on each side of the kicker; the referee will have 60 seconds (down from 90 seconds) to review a challenged call via replay; and, a down by contact call can be challenged.

The key points of emphasis are offensive holding and false starts by the center.

Patten out of hospital

Redskins receiver David Patten (viral meningitis) was released by Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington yesterday. Patten, who complained of migraine headaches and a fever upon reporting for training camp, had been hospitalized since Monday afternoon.

Patten isn’t expected to practice until next week at the earliest.

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