ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -There weren't supposed to be any starting jobs up for grabs during the Washington Redskins preseason. Training camp opened with clear favorites at all 22 positions on offense and defense, making the punting duel between Derrick Frost and Durant Brooks the only tit-for-tat competition to watch.
As it turned out, two good friends with divergent personalities ended up in another battle for the starting defensive tackle spot next to Cornelius Griffin.
Anthony Montgomery held the lead when practices began, but he broke his hand during an intrasquad scrimmage and fell behind fellow third-year player Kedric Golston while recovering.
``Starting is almost like an ego thing,'' Montgomery said. ``You've got family back at home, and it's always nice for them to see you in the starting lineup and stuff like that. But we do a lot of rotating, so we're going to play a lot either way.''
Montgomery will have to deal with the minor ego crisis because Golston has essentially won the job, a decision that will be made formal when the coaches meet to start day-to-day planning for the regular-season opener against the New York Giants.
Golston has started all four preseason games and continues to work with the first-team unit in practices. The defensive starters will not play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
However, defensive tackles aren't like quarterbacks. Substitutions are made on almost every down, depending on formation, game situation, fatigue and other factors.
``Whichever guy you ever pick (to start), the other guy's right there,'' coach Jim Zorn said. ``It'll be significant to the guy, but it won't be that significant to us.''
Golston and Montgomery were both drafted by the Redskins in 2006, Montgomery from Minnesota in the fifth round and Golston from Georgia in the sixth. They roomed together as rookies, an odd mix of Montgomery's city upbringing in Cleveland and Golston's rural roots of Tyrone, Ga.
``The one good thing is that we both like the Discovery Channel,'' Golston said, ``There was only one TV in the apartment. We both like the Discovery Channel, and we both like to eat.''
Golston is a hard worker, while Montgomery has more raw talent. Golston took the lead as a rookie, starting 13 games after Joe Salave'a was injured. Last year, Montgomery was the preferred one among the pair, starting 15 games while Golston rotated in the game as a backup.
The consensus is that Montgomery needs to learn to maintain his focus and play every down with the same passion.
``Kedric needs to be brushed up on fundamentals and things like that,'' defensive line coach John Palermo said. ``He doesn't need to be told to go hard. He goes hard. Monty goes hard as well, we've just got to get him to do it on a consistent basis all the time. That's something he would agree with himself. He's got to do it all the time - because he does have talent.''
Actually, Montgomery doesn't agree with that assessment.
``If that's how they feel, that's how they feel,'' Montgomery said. ``I don't agree with it. I feel like every time I put my hand down, I want to go out and give it all I've got.''
The whole issue of who's on top is expected to resolve itself in the not-too-distant future. Griffin turns 32 this year, so Golston and Montgomery can expect to be playing side-by-side should they stay with the Redskins. Both are set to be restricted free agents at the end of this season.
``I don't look at it as a competition,'' Golston said. ``I look at it as two guys trying to win football games. It just so happens we're two defensive linemen.''
Notes: The Redskins cut TE Jason Goode, who has been sidelined with a sprained toe. They signed LB Danny Verdun-Wheeler, who was cut last week by the Indianapolis Colts. ... S LaRon Landry, whose nagging hamstring injury has sidelined him for the entire preseason, might be on the field for a few plays Thursday, even though the rest of the starters will be resting. Landry said Monday he won't play against the Jaguars, but Zorn said Tuesday that Landry might ``run around a little bit.'' ... QB Jason Campbell practiced with a heavily bandaged leg. Zorn said the leg had a gash and the bandage was a precaution against infection. ... CB Byron Westbrook (sprained ankle), T Jon Jansen (sprained foot) and DE Jason Taylor (sprained knee) did not practice.

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