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Jay Gruden still likes his centers after Redskins failed trade for Bryan Stork

Kory Lichtensteiger seems set as the Redskins' starting center, but how confident are they in the veteran? Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

ASHBURN, Va. -- Now that Bryan Stork isn't joining the Washington Redskins, the center position remains one of focus. And that's OK with coach Jay Gruden.

Before the trade, when it was being discussed, and now after it's fallen through, Gruden has maintained one message. The center position is fine. Stork failed a physical, nullifying the trade with New England.

"Before we got him I thought we were doing pretty well at center," he said.

Gruden and the other coaches have maintained that starter Kory Lichtensteiger has been playing well, though he's coming off a rough preseason outing in which he was called three times for holding.

They also have worked Spencer Long there since the spring. At times he's looked good -- against the New York Jets he helped clear a hole by getting to the linebacker and giving him a hard shove. But he's also struggled with high snaps.

There's also Josh LeRibeus, who had problems with the snap count when he started 11 games there last season, not to mention the snaps themselves. The Redskins have always liked his size and that he can move, and his ability to play guard helps, too. But LeRibeus is firmly on the bubble entering the preseason finale Thursday at Tampa Bay.

Finally, second-year player Austin Reiter has improved this summer, though he was a bit uneven in the games. For most of camp he worked ahead of LeRibeus as the No. 3 center. Reiter has added weight and strength, which clearly helped. He looked overwhelmed last season, and the Redskins initially were fine without keeping him around only to sign him to their practice squad later. One player complimented Reiter on his practice Monday. Will that be enough?

Had Stork stuck around, Reiter and LeRibeus would have been in trouble. As it stands, it's hard to imagine both of them sticking around. LeRibeus' ability to play guard definitely helps.

"We've got four centers in-house that are pretty darn good," Gruden said. "So I feel good about the ones we have."

It'll be an interesting position to watch -- there will be other centers who become available via trades or cuts. Lichtensteiger is 31 years old and it's uncertain how much longer he'll want to keep playing. He has one more year left on his contract but would save the Redskins $3.5 million in cap space if he didn't play. That's not to say this will happen, but it is one scenario. In that case, then the Redskins will have to decide if one of the other centers on their roster is worthy of being his replacement -- or if they'll keep looking to bolster the position, now or during the season. While Gruden likes what he has, the failed trade for Stork suggests one thing: The organization wants more choices.