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With Diet Under Control, Josh LeRibeus Trying To Master Position
ASHBURN – Name one Mexican restaurant in Dallas, and there’s a good chance Josh LeRibeus has been there.
“Chuy’s, Uncle Julio’s – they’re all over the place,” LeRibeus said, laughing.
The Washington Redskins’ rookie offensive lineman likes his Mexican food. Or, rather, he liked it – so much so that in 2010, before his junior season at SMU, he ballooned to 380 pounds.
“I moved away from home, got my own apartment, and obviously the stipend checks were limited and you had to restrict going out, so that helped, too,” LeRibeus said. “Tex-Mex was my favorite in Dallas, and you can’t quite get that out here, so it’s kind of a good thing. You know, it worked out pretty well.”
LeRibeus entered training camp last week at a slimmer 317 pounds. He managed to drop it all leading up to his senior season, and at the NFL Combine in February, he weighed in at 312.
A third-round selection in April’s NFL Draft, the 6-foot-2 LeRibeus went through the team’s offseason program working at both guard and center. With Kory Lichtensteiger undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday, LeRibeus and Maurice Hurt have been alternating with the starting unit at left guard.
“That’s a great chance to realize what all I need to work on at guard, because it’s mostly been center,” LeRibeus said. “Then, over the past – what’s it been, three, four days now? – I’ve gotten to work on that and it’s definitely gotten a lot better. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity just to learn the guard spot – not to take over for somebody, but just get the experience at guard that obviously I needed.”
LeRibeus was a guard at SMU, but he said the Redskins’ practices “are more intense than any of the games were in college.” He’s spent a lot of time since being drafted perfecting his technique, especially his footwork.
He wants to make sure he’s prepared for the first preseason game at Buffalo on Aug. 9, and, if necessary, the season opener at New Orleans a month later.
“Right now, it’s just work on the technique, work on the assignments, and once it’s all done, I’m sure preseason will take care a lot of it,” LeRibeus said.