Kedric Golston won the battle to start at right defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins in Thursday’s season opener at the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
A surprise starter as a rookie in 2006 after veteran Joe Salave’a got hurt, Golston lost the job to fellow 2006 draft pick Anthony Montgomery last year. He reclaimed it this summer through solid play and because Montgomery missed 10 days after breaking his hand in the July 26 intrasquad scrimmage.
“Unfortunately, my hand set me back, and Kedric got in and made plays and impressed ‘em,” Montgomery said. “Obviously, I’m not happy with it. I would love to be the starter, but I don’t like to make no excuses. That’s on me. I had my chance to impress ‘em to be the starter, and I guess I didn’t.”
Defensive line coach John Palermo said Montgomery still will play almost as many snaps as Golston and veteran Cornelius Griffin.
“Kedric is starting now, but if we’re not getting what we need, we’re not going to put somebody out there just to say, ‘OK. You’re the starter,’” Palermo said. “The injury set Anthony back a little bit, but since then he has come roaring back. If somebody knows someone’s breathing down their neck, they know they have to play better or they’re going to be replaced. Only two can start, but I consider all three of them starters.”
Golston isn’t getting all fired up about winning his job back, and he said losing the job in 2007 was not a source of motivation for getting it back this summer.
“Everything is day-to-day, week-to-week in this league,” he said. “The only thing I can control is my performance. Being worried about anything else would just be clutter to me. I understand better what it takes to be successful in the NFL now. I handled my offseason a lot better this year.”
Golston is working out regularly at 6:45 a.m. with Griffin and end Demetric Evans. Montgomery, who describes himself as “not a morning person,” is sticking with lifting after practice. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache, the former line coach, has frequently said he needs to prod Montgomery but not Golston.
“My fire’s been lit,” Montgomery said. “If my role for the entire season is backup, that’s what I gotta do, but I’m competing every day to get back in there. We push each other a lot. I know I’ll play a lot, but starting is a big ego thing. You would like to have your friends and family back home see your name called as you come out of the tunnel. It’s also a pride thing. Being labeled a starter means you’re the best player at the position.”
Landry, Washington ready
Defensive end Jason Taylor didn’t practice again on his 34th birthday and likely will have his streak of 130 consecutive starts end Thursday, but free safety LaRon Landry is good to go after missing the entire preseason with an injured hamstring.
“He adds a great deal to our defense,” Blache said. “I’m excited to see him get out there and be our angel back there. Hopefully, he can knock the rust off without costing us anything.”
Linebacker Marcus Washington said the hip flexor that kept him out of the preseason finale against Jacksonville as “a precaution” is no longer a factor. Top special teams tackler Khary Campbell, who sat out the Jaguars game with a bruised thigh, also said he will be ready for the Giants. Rookie safety Kareem Moore remains sidelined with a strained hamstring and likely won’t play. Coach Jim Zorn said rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly could miss two games.
The Redskins filled out their eight-man practice squad by signing former Indianapolis receiver Devin Aromashodu. A teammate of quarterback Jason Campbell at Auburn, Aromashodu played in the Colts’ final six games last year, catching seven passes. …
Punter Derrick Frost, cut by the Redskins on Saturday, signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he will replace Jon Ryan. Frost will wear No. 6 for the Packers. Green Bay’s No. 4 surely has been stashed away for a future retirement ceremony.