I had the honor of speaking to Montrell Washington of the Denver Broncos who was taken in this years’ draft. Washington was an offensive weapon for Samford, starring as a wide receiver and return specialist. With the Broncos, he can help improve a special teams unit that was subpar in terms of kick returns last season. In addition to my questions, we asked Montrell questions from Broncos Fans on their subreddit. Join our subreddit to be updated any time we interview a question and you can be included in the next article.
What it was like preparing for the draft, pro days and such?
I was training down in Fort Myers Florida, and I got to work with guys from all over from Purdue, Kansas State, big name guys. That was cool getting to be with the top of the top type of guys and just being in that environment. We had meal prep, they watched our weight, learned about our body mass and how to take care of ourselves throughout the process and that was cool. We also did a lot of speed work, that helped us a lot with our 40. LB was our strength coach who helped us in the weight room, I came in actually saying I wasn’t going to get to 25 at all but he definitely helped me out with that a lot and I was able to do more than what I thought I was able to do. It was different for me because I wasn’t used to being around big name guys.
Tell me about practice and your overall experience during the week at the NFLPA Bowl
Being at the NFLPA game was great, I got to represent not only myself but Samford as a whole. Getting there and seeing the different guys from everywhere in the country and being there at the same level with them was really cool. Being coached by actual coaches that were in the NFL, former players and soon to be hall of famers, you can’t beat that. You’re getting interactions with people that have been where you want to be or have done the things that you dream of doing someday. It was the experience of a lifetime, I got to learn how offenses would be in the NFL, learning lots of first hand information from guys that have had that kind of experience. I had a notepad with me and took notes everywhere I went as much as possible. That’s something I’ll never forget and a blessing to do that for sure.
How do you feel that game and week improved your draft stock?
I wasn’t really worried about that at the time. I was more focused on the experience and learning from everybody that was there. Just getting that first hand knowledge from everyone was very valuable from people that have been at the highest level was great. It helped me get ready for the next step whether that be me being drafted or not
What’s the best piece of advice you got from the coaches that week?
There was so much but I definitely have to say when I asked a few coaches about what NFL practice is like. Would we be able to get extra help, extra training, to help you learn the playbook and be ready for when your number is called. They told me different ways of doing that whether that was getting a backup quarterback or asking your position coach for a little extra time, everyone is there to help you.
Are there any NFL players you watch on film and model your game after?
I definitely like to watch Cordarelle Patterson, he’s elite for sure, but I’m a fan of anyone in the NFL. If I had to pick just one it would definitely be Tyreek Hill or Waddle, I love speedy guys.
What does watching film for a returner look like?
For me, I watch how gunners leave the line, and see who’s aggressive and who’s not, who sprints downfield instead of waiting back, small things like that. If someone may need extra help, I’d already know that based off of what I’ve seen guys do prior. It definitely helps out a lot with those kinds of things.
Have you been in contact with your new teammates at all?
Not yet, I plan on doing that definitely when I get down there, I can’t wait to meet everyone.
What game I should watch to see what kind of player you are?
I think the Florida game for sure [Passing 1/1 16 yds, Rushing 3 att, 19 yds 1 TD, Receiving 10 rec 124 yds, 1 TD, Returning 179 yds 1 TD]
What do you do to decompress or relax when you’re not training or studying film?
I love to fish, I’m big on fishing, it helps me relax
If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Blueberry pancakes, I love blueberries and I like pancakes
Bronco Fan Questions
Ask him about his “No Fair Catch” nickname
I said it in like a meeting, we were having this press conference and they asked. I guess it came from me just not wanting to fair catch because I’m feeling hot. If I can make a big play it’s not just on my end, it’s because of the guys that block for me. If I don’t fair catch I can do something special for the guys that are blocking for me, put on a little show and make it look good.
Which finger are you going to put your Super Bowl ring on?
We’ll see when that time comes hopefully
Who’s your favorite all time Bronco?
Shannon Sharpe for sure
What excites you most about coming to Denver and mile high country?
Being able to be with this team and say that I’m a Denver Bronco, that’s the most exciting thing right there.
What do you see as a returner as the blocking is being set up?
I just really trust my guys, and I’m just going to the end zone. That’s just what I see and what I’m focused on. I just trust my guys and I’m just running, I’m not really thinking too much.
What was your favorite moment in football?
I would say in college, the Florida game. I used to be a Florida fan, so that was great for how it turned out and things happened the way it happened.
Who did he think he would get drafted by and if the Broncos ever made it seem like they were interested?
I actually did not know who I would get drafted by. I didn’t even really think about getting drafted, I just wanted a shot whether that meant drafted, signing, whatever. I just wanted an opportunity to showcase what I can do. I did meet with a few different teams, but the Broncos weren’t a team that I met with that I thought would draft me, I didn’t go to meet the Broncos.
Who would win a fight, a grilled cheese or a taco?
A taco would definitely win
How do you think you’ll gel with the other receivers? Will we see you play any offense?
That’s the question, I can’t really answer that, I hope so
What kind of jelly do you like on your PB&J?
It doesn’t matter, but if I had to pick one strawberry for sure
How do you determine whether a kick into the endzone should be fair caught or taken out of the endzone?
If it’s too far back it’s better to get it and take a knee and get those free yards instead of taking it out where I might get tackled at the 1 and that’s not good field position. You just have to be smart back there sometimes.
What was going through his head when he got the call? Based on the pre draft process, did he think he was going to earlier or later than where he was picked?
What was going through my head was that I can’t believe it happened. I wasn’t really worried about it then it happened, it’s still mind-blowing
Outside of football, what is he most looking forward to doing in Denver?
Learn how to fly fish, I heard it’s something that’s kind of big, so if I learn how to fly fish I’d be satisfied with everything.
If you didn’t have any hands, how would you catch balls?
That’s a great question, I honestly don’t know
Did you know going into the Florida game that you would have a big game?
I wouldn’t say I went into the game knowing I would have a good game, but I would say I went in thinking they’re just like me, they practice the same way I practice, so let’s just have fun and ball, and see how things go
Which NFL team was your favorite growing up?
I didn’t really have a favorite team, I would say I had favorite players, and Reggie Bush was definitely my favorite player. I just really like football, so whoever was the best player at a point in time, those were the guys I liked.
What made you want to be a returner?
I liked punt returning and we used to play this game where we’d throw the ball up in the air and whoever catches it has to run in the end zone. So I think of returning as that game that I played growing up and punt returning is just like that.