WASHINGTON — The best training camp stories always come out years later.
Former Redskins interior offensive lineman Will Montgomery, who played five seasons in Washington under Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan, submitted one of those potentially all-time great entries to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.
Montgomery — having played for four different head coaches in the league — was asked if every training camp is mostly the same, or if a head coach’s personal imprint actually makes a noticeable difference.
“With Zorn, we had camp here at Redskins Park in Ashburn and, I don’t know if I want to say that’s a standard camp,” Montgomery said Thursday. “I mean, I was still old CBA, so you have the two-a-days, and any time you have two-a-days, it’s difficult, but one of the things I actually remember about a Zorn two-a-day is actually when I was playing center some with Jason Campbell during some of his drills.”
“And Jason Campbell would complain that I was sweating so much through my pants or shorts, that it was getting his hands wet and it was making the ball slip out of his hands,” he said.
“And I’m like, ‘Are you serious? Is that like a legitimate complaint?’ So he was telling coach Zorn this, so during one time during the middle of a team period, Zorn throws me a towel. And I’m like, ‘Well, what am I supposed to do with this?’ He literally made me wipe my butt to get some of the sweat off for Jason Campbell so like it wasn’t as sweaty, and then you see the equipment guys running back to the locker room to grab another pair of shorts.”
He literally made me wipe my butt to get some of the sweat off for Jason Campbell.
“So that was some funny stuff with Zorn’s experience,” he said.
“Campbell’s the only quarterback that ever complained of that, I’m guessing,” Paulsen followed up.
“Right. And I mean, I’m a sweater,” Montgomery said. “I think maybe some other guys sweat more than me; I know Kory [Lichtensteiger] was always a guy that had two or three pairs of shorts lined up for practice. With coach Shanahan, the thing I loved about him is he was on the one-a-day schedule before you even had to be on the one-a-day schedule. So he was a couple years ahead of the curve. He always believed in taking care of guys’ bodies. The season’s a marathon, so maybe banging twice a day for a whole month isn’t the best idea for your body.
Montgomery also has unique insight into the benefits of going away for training camp, having spent Augusts in Richmond — Washington’s training camp home through 2020 — and at Redskins Park in Ashburn. Richmond, he says, is way better.
“First off, you’re sitting at the Omni and you just feel like you’re staying at a five-star resort, and you can order room service and the beds are comfortable,” Montgomery said. “Most places, you’re either in some crummy dorm room somewhere or some dumpster hotel, but when you’re in the Omni… and coach Shanahan used to always say, he said, ‘Men, we’re going to take you to Richmond. If you want to go grab a beer, all you have to do is walk outside and go to the bar and hang out with your buddies. You don’t have to drive 30 or 40 minutes like you do in Ashburn, so it will cut down on the drinking and driving.’ So, that was one of the aspects the coach Shanahan brought up.”
“It is true. You can just walk out of the hotel and go grab a bite to eat or something occasionally, if you get a night off, but the one thing I don’t like about the Omni experience is busing to and from practice all the time. That might be a small complaint, but it is kind of annoying relying on the buses. That eats up probably almost an hour of day if you’re going to and from there twice a day.”
Montgomery is currently without an NFL team, though he says a recent checkup led to a doctor recommending retirement. In the meantime, he’s launched a podcast with another former Redskins lineman, Tyler Polumbus, who retired as a Super Bowl champion with Denver.
“I had a checkup with a doctor a couple weeks ago and he recommends that I retire, so we’re kind of, sort of in transition,” Montgomery said. “We had [Richie] Incognito on last week. He told a lot of interesting stories. We’re just kind of giving things from our perspective. No armchair quarterbacks, as we like to say. So it’s “The Players’ Podcast,” just getting a viewpoint from guys who have been in the trenches.”