The Washington Redskins’ offensive line enters Monday night’s game having coming off of a solid outing against the Arizona Cardinals and up for a big challenge from Dallas’s aggressive defensive front.
The anchor of the line is fifth-year pro Will Montgomery, who this season moved to center from right guard, where he started six games last season (including the last five) to replace Casey Rabach, whom Washington released on the eve of training camp.
In this week’s gameday Q&A, Montgomery – a local product who stood out both at Centreville High and Virginia Tech – talks about his new role with the team, growing up a Redskins fan and off-field interests.
You closed out the 2010 season by starting the final five games at right guard. What were your expectations for this season?
“My expectation for this year was to definitely keep playing, and help this ballclub out. I didn’t know I would be playing center. But, I’m prepared to play center. I’ve done it through my whole pro career and college, and I think things have gone well. They could be better. There are definitely things I could do better, but so far, so good.”
What’s the main area you want to improve upon?
“I’m not going to say it’s any one thing. There have been times where I could’ve done better with my hand placement, or my knee bend, or stayed a little more square. Every little technique thing, I could do better. There have been times I could’ve made a better ‘Mike point’ (locating the middle linebacker and making a call for run or pass protection). I don’t think anyone’s played prefect yet. But the more we can improve, the better we’ll be.”
Other than snapping the ball, what responsibilities now fall on you as the center?
“The center sets up the blocking scheme for everybody else. So, the guy I call out, that means the tight end has the next guy and the wide receiver has to come in, push crack on the next guy, and so the guy I call out is really important because it sets up the scheme for everyone else. And the same thing in pass protection, the quarterback knows where I’m going and the line knows what we’re protecting, so that’s pretty important that way.”
That’s a lot of responsibility. Do you enjoy those pressure situations?
“Somebody once said, ‘Pressure is something you’ll feel if you’re not prepared for it.’ So I try to make sure that I’m prepared for it, and we work all week and get a million reps and stay in our playbook, and that has everything in it, and from there, it’s easy and you just are regurgitating and go out and play.”
Growing up in this area, did you dream of playing for the Redskins?
“Growing up, I’ve been living in this area since I was 5 years old, so I definitely wanted to become a Skin, growing up watching them win Super Bowls. So now, it’s pretty sweet being able to play for the Skins having grown up a Skins fan.”
What was it like when you first signed with the team?
“I remember getting the call that they were going to sign me, and I was pretty pumped up getting in my car, like ‘Woo-hoo!’ or whatever. But once you’re here, the excitement pretty much wears off, but ever so often I do take a look back and think, ‘This is pretty cool.’”
Do you have any hobbies?
“In the offseason, try to play a little golf, try to fish a little bit. Go down to Lake Anna and do some stuff down there. In-season, I just pretty much try to lay low, watch some movies. If I’m not playing football, I’m just trying to lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing, just letting my body recover.”
What’s your favorite movie?
“Favorite has to be ‘Gladiator.’ It’s a sweet story, it’s bad-ass, lot of action, fighting, love story. It’s got everything.”
If you weren’t playing football, what would you be doing?
“I’ve always thought about getting into coaching when I’m done. I also have my business degree from Virginia Tech. A couple years ago, I did an internship at Merrill Lynch to see what that’s like. I could see either coaching industry or some of the business or financial industry, too.”