- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chad Rinehart or Will Montgomery will start at right guard for the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Detroit, and their practice performances will determine who gets the call to replace Randy Thomas.

Rinehart and Montgomery split time with the starters Wednesday at Redskin Park.

“We’ve got one more day [Thursday], and then we need to close in on our decision,” coach Jim Zorn said.

Montgomery entered the Week 2 game against St. Louis when Thomas tore his right triceps and has six career starts. Rinehart has not played a regular-season snap.

Although Rinehart got the starter reps in the preseason when Thomas was held out, Montgomery thrust himself into consideration with a serviceable performance in the Rams game.

“I wouldn’t say that was a surprise, because he was battling all summer long,” Zorn said. “He’s had starts at that position, and that makes a difference, and he did a tremendous job coming in with zero reps with the starting group. Chad hasn’t had the starts yet.”

Rinehart said he went to work “definitely more alert.”

“It’s a little different feeling knowing I have the opportunity to play or at least dress,” he said. “I was kind of hoping they had the confidence in me to name me the starter right away. But either way, I have to go out and show them I can do it in practice and hopefully be the starter come Sunday.”

The Redskins did not sign a 10th lineman when Thomas was placed on injured reserve and have four guards on the roster. Offensive tackle Mike Williams said he’s staying put for the time being.

“We had a very brief discussion about it,” he said.

Longest interview

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz was the first candidate interviewed by the Redskins after Joe Gibbs’ retirement in January 2008.

“I remember all of it,” he said. “It was probably the longest [interview] - morning to night, it was nonstop. I got there early in the morning and stayed as late as we possibly could.”

Schwartz was one of at least seven candidates to go through the marathon session with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato.

“I had a lot of preconceptions going into the interview, and a lot of those changed after sitting down with Dan Snyder for 12 hours,” Schwartz said. “From the outside looking in, sometimes owners can get a reputation as being quick with the coaches or something like that. I found the opposite to be true.”

Running back logjam

The return of Anthony Alridge gives the Redskins five tailbacks and a fullback. Cut in training camp, he spent the past week on the Houston Texans’ practice squad.

“It’s been a wild process,” he said. “I guess they need a change-of-pace back, somebody who can get to the perimeter to stretch the defense out a little bit, and I want to do my part on special teams.”

Alridge missed 20 days of training camp with a toe injury and also had fumbling problems. But the Redskins are intrigued by his speed.

“It’s hard to carry [six backs], but we’re doing it for the right reasons, and we like the mix,” Zorn said.

Zorn moves on

Zorn was asked after practice whether he will be allowed to grow into his job despite the occasional pothole, the latest a victory over St. Louis in which the offense managed just three field goals.

“I’m not even asking that question,” he said. “I’m not even whining about anything like that, partly because I don’t have time. Maybe in my old age I’ll reflect and whine a little bit. But that’s not this league, and that’s not what a man does. I move on. I’m the head football coach. I’m excited about it. Everybody was saying, ‘Did you hear the fans boo?’ I said, ‘I was booing, too.’ I wanted to score the six points and kick the extra point.”

Campbell limited

Quarterback Jason Campbell (foot) was limited in practice, but Zorn said he isn’t concerned it will impact the game plan.

“I’ll definitely be 100 percent by Sunday, but right now I’m taking precautions to get through practice,” Campbell said.

Cornerback Fred Smoot (rib) and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery (knee) practiced after not playing last week. Montgomery and running back Clinton Portis (ankle) were limited.

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