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The Mountain vs. The Barbarian

As I tip my hat to Extreme Skins, some explanation is in order. The Barbarian is Kedric Golston. The Mountain is, of course, Anthony Montgomery, uncleverly altered to Anthony Mt. Gomery in reference to his frame -- 315 pounds, 8 feet tall, shoots lightning bolts out of his arse, that kind of thing. (I don't know why or where I come up with this garbage.)

Fitting also that they should duke it out as both joined the team around the same time, in the same draft, separated by just 43 other players in 2006. And although the hype was larger for Montgomery, who was rumored to be physically dominant, it was Golston who had the first laugh. A recap:

2006: Golston played in 16 games, with 12 starts, and recorded 59 tackles (35 solo), a half-sack and one fumble recovery. He finished third among Redskins' defensive linemen in tackles.

  • Made his NFL debut in Week 1 vs. Minnesota, recording four tackles (three solo).

  • Earned his first NFL start in Week 3 at Houston. He logged three tackles and a fumble recovery.

  • In Week 6 vs. Tennessee, he recorded a season-high seven tackles (three solo) and a half-sack of QB Vince Young. It was Golston's first career sack (combined with fellow 2006 rookie Anthony Montgomery).
  • But Montgomery with the last laugh:

    2007: Montgomery emerged as a regular starter in his second NFL seasons. He logged 47 tackles (35 solo), a half-sack and two fumble recoveries.

    • In Week 5 vs. Detroit, he helped the Redskins' defense limit the Lions to just 68 rushing yards.

    • He logged a half-sack of Brett Favre in Week 6 at Green Bay. He also had two tackles and one pass deflection.

  • Recorded three tackles in Week 17 vs. Dallas. He helped limit the Cowboys to just 1 rushing yard in the game.
  • So who is laughing now? Who knows, says the Official Site:

    The Redskins have a competition brewing at defensive tackle, where Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery are in a "heated" battle for the starting job, defensive coordinator Greg Blache said on Monday.

    More from Greg Blache via The Washington Times:

    "That position, no one owns that," Blache said in his weekly meeting with the media. "That's a position that's definitely going to be won week to week, day to day. We look at those guys actually on the same basis. That's been a heated competition since the start of OTAs. They've both been told that. They both bring certain strengths to the table. It's just matter of who's got the hot hand at a given time. This is a 'What have you done for me lately' business and a guy that gets a little fat, thinks for a second, 'That's my job,' they're mistaken."

    It's tough to pick a winner this early. If I'm going by stats, and that's typically where I go first, Golston is winning this thing: he out tackled Montgomery's 2007 numbers in his rookie year, despite fewer starts, and neither distinguished themselves elsewhere (both have .5 sacks and it is four against three passes defensed, wash). A more reliable analysis would factor in snaps, but guessing that Golston had fewer and more tackles, I have to lean on him.

    But Montgomery won the position battle last year, which tells me the coaches weren't only interested in stats, at least at the time.

    Looking forward I'm picking Golston to win on this one, given that a season's worth of stats (two, really) is enough of a sample size to state: For whatever reasons Kedric Golston found his way to the football more when he was on the field than Anthony Montgomery, and that's what I want defensive tackles to do. But let's do this the democratic way, poll below:

    Who wins the position battle at DT?