Kory Lichtensteiger makes smooth transition to center

Kory Lichtensteiger, left, drills with guard Mike McGlynn during Day 1 of training camp. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND – Center Kory Lichtensteiger and Coach Jay Gruden both expressed encouragement over the progress that the sixth-year pro has made while transitioning to his new role along the offensive line.

After four seasons as the starting left guard for Washington, Lichtensteiger this year made the move to starting center. That’s his natural position, as he came out of Bowling Green as a center before learning guard, where he wound up starting for Washington in Mike Shanahan’s first year at the helm.

At 6 feet 2 and 296 pounds, Lichtensteiger is better suited for center. (Most guards on the team easily top the 300-pound mark and stand a few inches taller.) And the actual technique of playing center isn’t foreign to Lichtensteiger. In addition to having to played it in college, he took snaps in practices here and there over the past several years.

Aside from sliding over one spot and now being responsible for snapping the ball, Lichtensteiger now is responsible for making all of the calls (identifying blocking assignments) along the line.

Lichtensteiger has handled that with ease, left tackle Trent Williams, new left guard Shawn Lauvao, quarterback Robert Griffin III and Gruden all say. Williams called Lichtensteiger “the quarterback of the line,” and praised his leadership.

Lichtensteiger relishes the task.

“I think as center, you have to take your job pretty seriously and know that everybody is depending on you to make all the right calls for them to do your jobs,” he said.

But he noted that despite taking his job seriously, he still has had fun in the process.

“Very, very good,” Gruden said when asked about Lichtensteiger’s play and transition. “Kory’s done a nice job. It’s not easy sometimes for a guard to move into center, but he’s a natural center in my opinion. He’s got great movement obviously, he’s done good with the calls, and of course the snaps have been solid. We had two fumbled snaps the first day in the rain, other than that, in the OTAs and today, everything has been clean. I am very happy with Kory’s progress.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

Washington’s only practice on Day 5 began at 8:35 a.m. Monday in Richmond. The afternoon walk-through is canceled, and the team is off Tuesday. Here’s our camp guide.

Also from The Post:

Amerson out to provide stability, swag in Year 2

Robinson, Miller led to Jenkins being waived

Observations from Day 4 of training camp | Photos

The Jay Gruden philosophy | Reid: Approach may be hard to maintain

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