The Redskins wrapped up their first full day of training camp and Insider is chocked full of developments from the day, but here are a few — OK, more than a few — leftover observations:
★Following the release of Casey Rabach, the Redskins will have a new starting center, and Will Montgomery appears to be the man. The former Centerville High School and Virginia Tech standout started six games at right guard last season, but Mike Shanahan said he will move one spot over now. Shanahan praised Montgomery as a “natural center.” He added that Kory Lichtensteiger can also play the spot, but Montgomery appears to be the first choice, taking all first-team snaps at center.
■Sticking with the O-line, things remain a work in progress on that front. Today’s first-team line featured left tackle Trent Williams, Lichtensteiger at left guard, Montgomery at center, right guard Artis Hicks and Clint Oldenberg at right tackle. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when right guard Chris Chester arrives. Will Lichtensteiger remain at left guard? Will Hicks (who has played every position on the line other than center)slide over to that spot? How many of the young linemen – Oldenberg, Selvish Capers, Erik Cook – make the team as backups?
■Another position battle is at inside linebacker where London Fletcher needs a new sidekick since it appears the Redskins are content to let Rocky McIntosh walk. Perry Riley appears to be the first option if Washington doesn’t sign a free agent. Lorenzo Alexander also took snaps at that spot today. Alexander played OLB last year, but spent all of the first day working at ILB. Robert Henson can play there, but is on the PUP list, still working his way back from knee surgery.
■The team reportedly is close to re-signing another inside linebacker, H.B. Blades, who has backed up Fletcher since joining the team in 2007.
■More linebacker stuff: Ryan Kerrigan got the first-team snaps at the left OLB spot in the morning practice before suffering the bone bruise/knee hyperextension. With him out during the afternoon walk-through, Rob Jackson took the first team snaps at that spot, and rookie Markus White took second-team snaps there.
■Speaking of rookies, here are the jersey numbers of the Redskins’ draft picks: LB Kerrigan – 53, DL Jarvis Jenkins – 99, WR Leonard Hankerson – 85, RB Roy Helu – 26, S DeJon Gomes – 24, WR Niles Paul – 85, RB Evan Royster – 26, WR Aldrick Robinson – 11, CB Brandyn Thompson – 40, LB White – 57, G Maurice Hurt – 79, NT Chris Neild – 66.
■Shanahan said five players were treated for heat-related illness following the morning session. Nose tackle Anthony Bryant was carted off with what appeared to be cramps. He and four other players received IVs, according to Shanahan. None of the players were ill enough to skip the afternoon walk-through.
■Ryan Torain appears to have entered camp as the starting running back. Shanahan likes him, but wonders if he can stay healthy? Helu and Royster are interesting options, boasting different styles. Keiland Williams can’t be forgotten either.
■Artis Hicks came off the practice field and said, “It’s one thing to be in shape, but football shape is a totally different thing. Everybody here’s in shape. But that out there? That was intense.” Shanahan said nobody reported to camp grossly out of shape because of a lack of OTAs and mini-camps, but still wants to ease them into “football shape,” as he puts it. It was expected that the first day of camp would feature a lot of running and conditioning work, but instead the Redskins jumped right into running plays. Shanahan said the whole first week of camp will be pad-free, however, to avoid the risk of injury.
■For the moment, long-snapper Nick Sundberg and kicker Graham Gano have no competition in camp. The Redskins still have roughly 27 roster spots to fill, so nothing’s to say long-snapper and kicker won’t be added.
■The team doesn’t have a punter in camp, Shanahan confirmed the signing of Sav Rocca, a fifth-year veteran who spent his first four seasons with Philadelphia. The Australian won’t be able to take the field until Aug. 4.
■ Mike and Kyle Shanahan both have expressed confidence that they will have Rex Grossman back in the fold, but Mike Shanahan hasn’t been willing to discuss any of the other unsigned free agents. Tackles Jammal Brown and Stephon Heyer, linebackers Chris Wilson and Rocky McIntosh, safety Reed Doughty, cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon, and defensive lineman Kedric Golston all remained unsigned. Shanahan said, “we have a plan,” but didn’t say what it consisted of and which players the Redskins were in talks to re-sign, and which they had no interest in. The coach used his favorite line, “I’m not going to go into that for obvious reasons.”
■Day 2 of camp starts bright and early Saturday with the practice running from roughly 8:30 to 11 a.m. Fans are allowed to attend this session, and it always draws a crowd. So if you’re planning on coming, arrive early to beat the traffic. Also, brace for some intense heat. Weather man says 93 degrees and high humidity.