Although Will Montgomery’s move to left guard has not gone as smoothly as the Washington Redskins hoped, he expects his play there to improve over time.
The six-year veteran was having a fine season at center until left guard Kory Lichtensteiger suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 6. Coach Mike Shanahan’s backup plan was to shift Montgomery to left guard and plug Erik Cook in at center, essentially using two backups to combat one injury.
“It takes time to get all the little kinks out,” said Montgomery, who started the last five games of 2010 at right guard. “I feel like it wasn’t fluid, necessarily. I feel like it was forced. After doing one thing for three months, it’s not just a quick snap … it’s more of a transition.”
Montgomery was better at center in part because he’s more effective in tight spaces, where defenders can’t use their reach advantage to get into his body.
Shanahan could move Montgomery back to center as soon as Sunday’s game against San Francisco as part of changes resulting from last Sunday’s 10-sack game against Buffalo.
Backup left tackle Sean Locklear said he could move to left guard when Trent Williams (ankle) returns, but he has no NFL experience at the position.
Armstrong drawing attention
Anthony Armstrong won’t surprise any teams in his second NFL season. He’s no longer some unknown player from the arena leagues. Opponents noticed his 19.8-yard reception average last season and are defending him accordingly.
“They’re probably saying: He’s out there. Let’s back up a little bit and make sure he doesn’t beat us that way,” said Armstrong, who had zero catches against Buffalo despite starting.
Armstrong, who missed 2 1/2 games with a hamstring injury, has only five catches for 47 yards this season. That’s well short of the pace he’d need to equal his production last season: 44 receptions for 871 yards.
He ran at least two go routes against the Bills, and another of his targets was a crossing pattern that John Beck underthrew.
“You have to have a full package to your game so they can’t predict what you’re going to do and can’t put a bead on what you’re doing every single time you get out there,” Armstrong said. “Being able to be versatile and show different routes and abilities definitely will help.”
• Left tackle Trent Williams (right ankle) was limited in practice. “He set it back a little [Wednesday], but he felt better [Thursday],” Shanahan said.
• Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (knee) did not practice. Tight end Fred Davis (ankle) was limited.